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1 . T 

Cornell University Library 
DA 690.B968LS6 

iygone Bury. 

3 1924 028 093 726 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

Bygone Bury 

John Lord. 

Bygone Bury 


Author of "Memoir of JOHN KAY the Inventor of the Fly-Shuttle," and 
"Tables for Tensile Strain of Metals" 


Let me review the scene 

And summon from the shadowy past 

The forms that once have been. 



[All rights reserved] 



The reader will find a brief memoir of the 
Author of Bygone Bury following the Preface 
in his Memoir of John Kay, the inventor of 
the Fly-Shuttle. 

The author was born in Wash Lane, Bury, 
on April 2ist, 1835, and ended his labours on 
June zyth, igoj. 

W. L. 
November, 1903. 


Portrait of the Author 

Preface . .... 

Old Bury by " N." — Letter I. 

Old Bury by " N." — Letter IL 

BY the author ; 
Musical Bury 

Chapter I. Bygone Bury 

II. Bygone Bury 

III. Bygone Bury 

IV. The Kays . 
V. Bygone Bury 

VI. Bygone Bury 

VII. Bygone Bury 

VIII. Names and Places 

IX. Names and Places 

X. Names and Places 

XI. Names and Places 

XII. Names and Places 

XIII. Bygone Bury 

XIV. Bygone Burv , 


















HE present volume would not have 
appeared if the author had not been 
urged to publish it by several friends. 
The articles upon "Bygone Bury," 
were suggested some years ago by a 
gentleman whose first request was 
that the writer should say something in the local paper, 
the Bufy Times, about " Musical Bury in the last gener- 
ation," thus an article bearing that title appeared in the 
issue of December 12th, 1896. 

The author's sphere of labour, at that time, was far 
removed from Bury, and having had for a quarter of a 
century very exacting and laborious work, travelling in 
the United Kingdom, he eventually located himself in 
the northern counties, and though still busy he found 
ample leisure to think and write about Bury. 

The first paper appeared to satisfy the friendly 
editor of those days, and hints were not only spoken, 
but written, that something about " Bygorie Bury," would 


be acceptable to the readers. From time to time, as 
the inspiration came, the following discursive articles 
were sent to interest whoever cared to spend time over 
their perusal. 

Not inexperienced in newspaper controversy, he en- 
deavoured so to shape his work as to provoke- the 
fewest imaginable objections. Errors, no doubt, crept in 
here and there, but " to err is human." 

Such as they are, these communications, with some 
few additions and corrections, once more appeal to an 
indulgent public, and if sustained interest in the past 
records of Bury results from these humble reminders, 
the writer will feel that his efforts have not been in 

Should the reader, young or old, incline to dwell 
upon the strange vicissitudes of life suggested by the 
events recorded in these reminiscences of " Bygone 
Bury," and look on present conditions of so-called rich 
and so-called poor, as anomalous, let this saying be 
remembered — probably a poor paraphrase culled from 
" Plutarch's Lives : " "A man is not rich by reason of 
the abundance of his means, but because of the fewness 
of his wants." 

Few there be who have no love for music. Rich 
and poor alike are happy under the influence of sweet 
melody. The early Bury choirs were united under this 
charm of life. Of these choirs a few opening words are 
given as a prelude to " Bygone Bury." Lancashire is 
never wanting in talent, musical and otherwise; may the 
coming time emulate the past in this respect in the old 
town of Bury ! 


Two articles appeared in the Bury Times early 
in 1 897, which are here prefixed to " Bygone Bury," 
in order that the author's incentive and attitude of 
mind may be the better understood ; and the writer of 
the said articles, will, the author hopes, pardon this re- 
publication. Subsequently, communications on " Bygone 
Bury" continued to appear in the Bury Times at irregu- 
lar intervals. 

By degrees it became known to the author that his 
communications to the Bury Times had special interest 
for some of his correspondents — in places far removed 
from Bury ; and applications were made to him for the 
dates of his earlier papers. Copies of the Times con- 
taining these papers could not however be supplied, the 
obvious reason being that provision was not made for 
such demands. The author hopes, that in the form now 
presented, the articles may be acceptable to the reader. 


" My heart untravelled fondly turns to thee." — Goldsmith. 
From the Bury Times, February 27th, 1897. 

THE recently announced splendid gift of a complete gallery 
of pictures to the borough of Bury by the present repre- 
sentatives of the Wrigley family, brings to mind some memories 
of the town and its leading men of almost sixty years ago. 
Among them, ' laid up in lavender,' figures the founder of 
the Wrigley dynasty. Familiarly, but not derisively, known as 
' Owd Jimmy,' he was the real type of a Lancashire business 
man of the tough old school, a diamond of the first water not yet 
submitted to the lapidary. Work, early and late, at ' everything 
in turns ' that came in his way, led to success and established 
Bridge Hall Mills on a solid basis, even to the third or fourth 
generation. All honour to the plain, resolute, and indomitable 
man who did such great things ! Slightly lame, but alert and 
active, he was by force of word and example the inspirer of effort 
in those about him, and the ' lither ' gave him a wide berth. His 
portrait, if attainable, would give character to the collection of 
paintings to be some day freely seen by the Technical School 
students. They could reflect on his career and what he accom- 


plished at a time when helps in education such as are now pro- 
vided for the children of working men were non-existent, and 
self-help had to painfully grope if peradventure it might attain 
its reward. 

" Mr. Wrigley's son, ' Tom,' the collector of the pictures, which 
themselves prove the wealth, taste, and judgment he possessed, 
was the complete antithesis of his father in appearance, maimer, 
and disposition. He had, of course, the advantage of culture, 
which circumstances had denied to his father. He was always 
scrupulously well-dressed, and 'as straight as a picking-rod.' 
Sanguine in temperament as in complexion, he was imperious 
and hot in temper as well as fiery by nature. These were the 
moles sometimes given with the most perfect beauty. But 
withal though ' terrible in constant resolution,' he was at heart 
a gentleman, and instinct with many good qualities. In business 
he excelled — raising Bridge Hall to an eminence it had not be- 
fore attained. It is said that the Times was for a considerable 
period supplied with their special high-class paper by Mr. ' Tom ' 
Wrigley's management. In 1861, when the paper duty was 
abolished without countervailing restriction on foreign paper im- 
ported to this country, Mr. Wrigley wrote to the Times and de- 
nounced the Liberal Government for betraying the important 
industry with which he was connected. He had hitherto been a 
free trader, but this one-sided free trade he utterly repudiated. 
He said we should have the country flooded with foreign paper 
made from protected materials and by poorly-paid workpeople, 
and the result would be disastrous to the trade. This outburst 
was naturally a good deal commented upon, but it had no eflFect 
upon legislation. One thing, however, is quite certain, that the 
flood, small in force at first, has increased in volume year by 
year, and threatens, as predicted, to submerge the best part of 
the business. Of the living members of the Wrigley family it 
would not be pertinent to say more than that they have nobly 


acted in surrendering their great pecuniary interest in the grand 
pictures — their heirlooms still in the best sense, though gener- 
ously dedicated to the use and enjoyment of the inhabitants of 
Bury for evermore.'' N. 


From the Bvary Times, March 20th, 1897. 

" How often have I paused on every charm ! 
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm ; 
The never-failing brook, the busy mill. 
The decent church that topped the neighbouring hill." 


" Bury — according to Johnson corrupted from borough, Saxon 
for dwelling-place — is beautiful for situation and picturesque 
surroundings. To see these aright a little journey must be made 
to the high land above Walshaw, on the ridge between Elton 
and Egerton bottoms in the Bolton valley. From this ' coign 
of 'vantage ' a noble prospect is realised. In the far east a dim 
outline of Yorkshire and Derbyshire hills is visible — ^Blackstone 
Edge, Stanedge, Woodhead, and Kinder Scout. Northward, 
from Musbury to Knowl Hill, a succession of bold eminences 
rear their unchanging forms in stately majesty. Holcombe Hill 
and its Shuttleworth neighbour, like two protecting guardians of 
the Rossendale forest district, seem to forbid access to that once 
desolate region. More southerly we see in succession the Birtle, 
Heywood, and Unsworth uplands, ending with ' the decent 
church ' at Stand, which is a conspicuous and striking object in 
the general survey. This panoramic sketch imperfectly conveys 


the reality of a grand area of some fifty square miles, with all its 
intervening variety of detail, comprising towns, villages, hamlets, 
and manufacturing works, together with a rural proportion of 
farms, fields, gardens, and plantations, which, though now sub- 
sidiary to the greater interests of trade, serve to make life more 
attractive and alluring, than if the world had become only one 
dreary money-making workshop. 

' 'Tis ours to judge how wide the limits stand, 
Between a splendid and a happy land.' 

" Bury, as it is to-day, with its two streams and its busy life, 
which like them seems to flow on for ever, couches in the valley 
of the Irwell. ' Imagination fondly stoops to trace ' its infant 
career from the time when, like a modern back-woodsman, the 
first Saxon thane settled on the Irwell, and cleared the land about 
his ' dwelling-place.' The everlasting hills looked down upon 
him with calm serenity, and the clear, bright streams might sing : 

' Men may come, and men may go ; 
But we flow on for ever. ' 

And yet, alas! the hills have been roughly handled, and the 
streams polluted beyond remedy. We may reasonably suppose 
that the country was, in Saxon times, almost if not entirely rough 
and wilderness-like in its general character. The streams would 
be full of fish, the heron and the kingfisher would revel in the 
quiet possession of their native haunts, while the bittern with his 
hollow-sounding note would be heard at the breeding season. 
There would be extensive swamps, marshes, and bogs in the 
lower lands, and the uplands would be moor, forest, and coppice. 
Furred and feathered creatures would abound, and Nature would 
be king. All this had to be changed. The Saxon settlement 
enlarged. Norman accessories added to the energy of expan- 
sion, and a town, with its castle for defence of body and its 
church for succour to soul, was the result. Trade was gradually 


taken up, and woollen weaving introduced. A stimulus to this 
calling was given in the 14th century by Edward III., who 
successfully induced Flemish artisans to settle in England. Bury, 
Bolton, and Manchester welcomed these ' cunning workmen,' 
who by reason of their skill, industry, and thrifty habits greatly 
advanced the reputation of Lancashire productions. In the 
reign of Elizabeth the trade of Bury had become so important 
that she stationed here an 'Aulnager' (from the French word 
aulne, a measure of length, an ell). This officer had to examine 
measure, and affix a seal to the cloth. Whether this was done 
in the interest of the consumer, the producer, or the Govern- 
ment does not appear. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes 
by the unkingly tyrant, Louis the Fourteenth, in 1685, exiled 
thousands of the most industrious of the French workpeople, and 
brought untold misery to many more. As Burns declares — 

' Man's inhumanity to man 
Makes countless thousands mourn.' 

But kings and peasants have the same inevitable end. Their 
lives are, as the same poet says — 

' Like the snowfall in the river, 
A moment white — then melts for ever. ' 

Lives are short, but actions are long in effects. Some of these 
expatriated Frenchmen came to Lancashire, and it is asserted 
that Bury had its contingent. Thus, by the cold-blooded bar- 
barity of a misguided king, our commercial supremacy was made 
more easy of attainment. The tasteful and mercurial French- 
men added the one little essence of character which completed 
the Bury idiosyncrasy : 

' Describe it who can, 
An abridgment of all that is pleasant in man.' 

" Until King Cotton came in, woollen ruled in Bury. The 
inventions of Kay in Bury, and of Crompton and Arkwright else- 


where, superadded to the far-reaching steam discoveries of Watt 
and others, soon made cotton ' the predominant partner ' in 
manufacturing circles. Happily Bury, while admitting the new 
industry, did not relinquish the old ones. Hence the equability 
and permanence of its business firms, whether in woollen, 
machinery and iron, paper, or cotton, and the other industries 
these involve, such as bleaching, dyeing, printing, &c. But for 
a melancholy trade dispute at Walker's machine works some 
years ago, it is probable that Bury would have had the place — 
a foremost one — now taken by Oldham. However, in spite of 
this, Bury has prospered. Its combination of Saxon, Norman, 
Flemish, and French ingredients of character has given the solid, 
alert, persevering, and ingenious quality which makes for success. 
Withal, there is found what phrenologists call adhesiveness. 
Love of the old town and its associations is evinced by abiding 
in or near it, by adding to its advantages in such ways as parks, 
paintings, and other privileges. Moreover, the quality of its 
employers and workpeople is shown by the good work turned 
out by the town. Bury blankets are famous ; Bury paper, from 
three leading firms, is equally so — ^the first for high-class book 
and stationery paper ; the second for artistic and zephyr-like tints 
and crinkled paper ; the third for all-round excellence in general 
merchants' paper. The cotton goods of Bury have also a world- 
wide reputation. Long may Bury endure and flourish ! " 



Bury Times, December I2th, 1896. 

THERE are no doubt numbers of persons still surviving in 
Bury whose memories will carry them back to the 
" fifties " and who can recall the singers of those days. The 
Crimean war was over ; a great weight was removed from the 
heart of the whole nation. And the people of Bury and the 
villages round about were provided with a pleasing winter's en- 
joyment, in the shape of -a series of the best concerts ever got 
up by the united efforts of the Church and Chapel choirs of the 
town amalgamated, and constituting the Bury Athenaeum Choir. 
The names recently associated with that of the late Mr. Kay 
Wild will suggest to lovers of music a comparison of oppor- 
tunities and realisations, then and now. Forty years ago it 
entailed no little trouble to get up the concerts given to the 
musically-inclined population. Bury people who could afford 
the cost were not contented with the quantity provided for them 
solely in their churches, chapels, or Choral Society ; but added 
to their pleasures by attendance at the Gentlemen's Concerts 
given at Manchester. The one common bond which held the 


people together, enabling them to meet and for the time being 
to forget the political contentions of the day, was the innate love 
for music. There is before the writer of these lines, at this 
moment, a copy of " Rules and Regulations " of the Bury 
Athenaeum Choir ; attached to the rules is a form of certificate. 
The occasion which probably called these rules into concrete 
form was an event which no doubt many of the readers of this 
notice will recall with special interest — the coming of Sims 
Reeves to Bury. Such events form history in the life of com- 
munities, and it seems a pity to let them sink into oblivion. The 
card before the writer sets out : — 



No. 37. 

August 1st, i8j6. 


■ of thi 

that John Lord, of Rochdale 
has this day been admitted a 
• Bury Athenaeum Choir. 

John M. Wike, Director. 

Kay Wild, Secretary. 

No doubt these certificates, at the time they were issued, were 
highly prized by their recipients. 

Richard Hacking, jun., had obtained his degree as Bachelor 
of Music at Oxford, and the performance of his Cantata, at the 
principal concert of the coming winter, was to take place under 
his baton, himself in his bachelor's robes. Sims Reeves was to 
be the principal attraction among the soloists. Those respon- 
sible for the success of the whole performance, which, besides 
the Cantata, was to include " Judas Maccabaeus, no doubt felt 
desirous of having as perfect a chorus as possible ; and therefore 
all members of the chorus respecting whom there was the least 


doubt were required to attend an examination before the con- 
ductor, Mr. D. W. Banks, who was accompanied by the late 
Mr. Kay Wild in his capacity as secretary. The examination 
was held in one of the ropms of the Bury Athenaeum, and in 
carrying it out Mr. Banks presided at a piano. Mr. Banks was 
a most sjrmpathetic, yet exacting, examiner. And no wonder he 
was exacting. The success of the whole concert depended upon 
an intelligent appreciation of the conception in the mind of the 
composer, to be attempted before the audience only by such as 
had a fair knowledge of the elements of music as to time and 
tune. Fugue singing exacted the greatest attention to time ; and 
correct pitch was equally essential, for harmonies and discords 
required accuracy of ear, in order that the intention of the com- 
poser might be realised. 

The writer recalls one incident in his own examination, 
following upon Mr. Banks's rather sudden sternness (assumed, of 
course, for the occasion) in questioning the candidate. " What 
do you know about music? And where do you sing on a 
Sunday ? " Somewhat taken aback, the candidate replied to 
these general questions. Turning over a piece of music which 
was before him on the piano, " What key is this in ? " asked the 
ruddy-faced, yet kindly and relenting examiner. The correct 
answer was given. "What time is it written in?" Without 
hesitation the correct answer was again given. A few other 
questions and answers ; and then, settling himself, to give a fair 
chance to the timid candidate for the crucial test, the examiner 
turned over some pages till he came to a piece which required a 
number of bars to be played by the accompanist, before the 
vocal notes were called for. That was the awful moment ! It 
was the transition from theoretical knowledge to practical ap- 
plication ; a test of the value of voice added to knowledge of 
how to use it. " Well, now, take up your part in this," said Mr. 
Banks, and at once commenced his interlude. The purpose in 


writing this is to refer to a kindly act of appreciation on the part 
of Mr. Kay Wild, as he sat at his table. His eye caught Mr. 
Banks's approval, and he was busy writing before the singing 
lesson ended, and the candidate felt he had won ! This case 
throws a light upon the occasion of Dr. Hacking and Sims 
Reeves's appearance before the Bury public, and how the success 
of the chorus was attained. 

Those were happy days for such as delighted in good music. 
Among the readers there may be some who recall with amuse- 
ment their singing lesson : — " A B C D E F G : — H I J K L M 
NOP :— Q R S T U V :— W X Y Z all right are we." To single 
out the lovely pieces with which we were made familiar would 
occupy too many pages. It would not surprise the writer to be 
told that our Board School method of teaching the alphabet in 
large classes has been copied from that famous old piece above 
referred to. It did seem so comical to watch the jovial con- 
ductor, as he insisted upon his many pupils intoning the letters 
of the alphabet, according to his idea of the cadence appropriate. 
If young children were to be taught their alphabet by this piece 
of music, it is not improbable that they would learn it in a month 

Without desiring to be invidious, the writer believes that if 
asked who were the most musical people in Bury in those bygone 
days he would have to go among Church people, for the Open- 
shaws and their offshoots, and the Wroes ; and among Chapel 
people for the Wilds, Grundys, Masons, and Kays. No claim is 
set up in this narrative to exclude other well-informed persons, 
as the writer only attempts to recall representative people he 
knew. Mention has been made of a few among the old Choral 
Society. John Lomax was the son of Ann Openshaw, and he 
married for his second wife one Ann Openshaw. J. M. Wike 
was the grandson of Margaret Openshaw, sister to this John 
Lomax's mother. George Grundy, the brother of Mr. Harry 


Grundy, was an enthusiastic organist at Bank Street Chapel for 
some time; he was grandson of George Openshaw, brother to 
the mother of John Lomax and to the grandmother of John 
Melling Wike. Richard Hacking, the composer above referred 
to, was son of Elizabeth Ann Openshaw, daughter of Samuel 
Openshaw, of Bolton Street, and his wife Frances Clegg ; which 
Samuel was the son of Thomas Openshaw, of Stanley Street, 
and his wife Margaret Walker. Richard Hacking, the father of 
the composer, will be remembered as an enthusiastic musician — 
the founder of "Hacking's Brass Band,"^ formed among his em- 
ployees and associates when he was connected with the Walker 
family, in Butcher Lane. 

This takes one's thoughts back to the " forties." About 1842 
Hacking's Brass Band was at its best j and the writer has a vivid 
recollection of the ardour with which at least one member of the 
band entered on the enjoyment of his labours, in association with 
the band ; for this assiduous endeavour to become proficient in 
the playing of his part conduced to shorten the days of a be- 
loved uncle. Mrs. Battersby was another descendant of the 
Openshaws ; her mother, or grandmother, would be Ann Open- 
shaw, the daughter of John Openshaw, of Pimhole, and his wife 
Elizabeth Ormerod. We have seen, in succeeding generations, 
the branch represented by James Alfred Openshaw, late of 
Kendal, organist for a time at the Bury Parish Church ; and a 
branch hitherto not named, represented by James Robert Open- 
shaw, professor of music, of Plumtrees. James Alfred Open- 
shaw was the son of James Openshaw, of Beech Hill, Bury, a 
plain, unassuming man, delighted with nothing so much as with 
a ramble in the country lanes near Bury and to have a chat 
with neighbouring farmers; he married twice, the daughters 
Mary and Sarah of Edmund Bolland, of Heap Brow. James 
Alfred was the oldest child of Sarah the second wife. 


James Robert, the Professor, was the only son of James Open- 
shaw and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Trimble, of Eden 
Street. A history of musical Bury should also record the name 
of Alfred Wroe, the son of Walker Wroe, one of the founders of 
the Bury Choral Society. He was at one time a singer in Bury 
Parish Church Choir ; afterwards in Bank Street Chapel Choir. 
The brothers Dennis and Richard Hardman come up clearly in 
the writer's memory. Dennis Hardman and Kay Wild were con- 
traltos, and almost always seen together. Margaret Hall was in 
the Church Choir, but, if the writer's memory serves him truly, 
she was also for a time in the Presbyterian Chapel Choir. 

In the report of the funeral of the late Mr. Kay Wild mention 
is made of some familiar names which, in connection with local 
musical history, have to the writer, at any rate, some amount of 
interest. Mr. James Mills recalls to mind the three brothers, 
John, James, and Thomas, all singers in their day. James and 
his wife Ellen, the daughter of Mr. Taylor, of Bury, were prom- 
inent workers in the Rev. Franklin Howorth's choir, in the Com- 
mercial Buildings ; and so were Thomas Mills, Richard Fethney, 
and others. Another name mentioned in the report is that of 
Mr. Joseph Wrigley, of Walshaw, long ago a familiar face in 
choir and choral singing. The names of two or three other 
survivors may be mentioned, and the writer hopes there may be 
thought no presumption in an outsider doing so — premising that 
the object is to save from oblivion historical facts as to singers 
and musicians of the last generation. We still have with us Mr. 
Thomas Dearden and his esteemed wife Alice, eldest daughter 
of the late Mr. James Charles, of Bolton Street, Bury ; also Mr. 
Robert Kay, famous in his younger days for the readiness and 
geniality with which he would gratify his friends by discoursing 
" The White Squall," and kindred pieces. 

The following notice from another pen appeared in the same 
issue as the foregoing : 


Died December iith, 1896. 
From the Bury Times, December 12th, 1896. 
" Mr. John Mellin Wike, formerly of this town, died at his 
residence, 14, Thurlow Road, Hampstead, London, yesterday 
morning, in his 63rd year. For some months he had been in 
a very precarious state of health, suffering from partial paralysis 
and a breaking up of the nervous system. Mr. Wike was the 
son of Mr. George Wike, whose father (Mr. John Wike) founded 
in the beginning of this century the firm of woollen manufacturers 
which in 1838 became known as John Wike and Sons. It is now 
nearly 30 years since Mr. Wike left Bury to reside in London. 
He was a clever musician and a lover of all that appertained to 
music. It has been said of him that he was ' one of the most 
liberal and enthusiastic lovers of music that Bury has ever 
known.' He was the organist for many years at St. Paul's 
Church, and the choir under him attained to a condition of great 
proficiency. He was one of the founders of the Bury Choral 
Society, which held its earlier meetings at St. Paul's (Bell) School 
and afterwards at the Athenaeum. Many concerts were given, 
and several of Mr. Wike's more successful pupils — for he taught 
singing with no inconsiderable success — frequently gave their 
services at these concerts. Shortly after he withdrew from the 
Choral Society and associated himself with the Bury Musical 
Society, the former ceased to exist. He was the prime mover 
in all the concerts given by the Choral Society, and for many 
years, along with Mr. J. R. Openshaw, of Walmersley Road, took 
a very prominent part in the arrangements for the concerts given 
by the Musical Society. He was also one of the founders of the 
Bury Amateur Dramatic Society, his connection with which he 
maintained until 1865, on each occasion acting as musical 
director. The last performance in which he took part was when 


Mr. Henry Irving came to Bury, on Friday, June 23rd, 1865. 
' Hamlet ' was on that occasion most successfully stage^. 
Scenery was painted expressly for the performance by Messrs. 
F. W. Livesey and James Shaw (Walmersley Road). In this 
play Mr. Wike was musical director. His most intimate friends 
at that time were Dr. Banks ; Mr. Lawrence Booth, architect ; 
Mr. J. M. Whitehead, of Helensholme ; Mr. Alfred Darbyshire, 
architect ; and Mr. James Shaw. Mr. Wike was also one of the 
small company which built the Prince's Theatre, Manchester, in 
1864, with _;£r 0,000 capital, under the style of the Manchester 
Public Entertainments Company Limited. Twelve months later 
the capital was doubled. In t868 the company was bought up 
by a syndicate named the Prince's Theatre Limited, with a 
capital of _;£io,ooo, and ;^io,ooo mortgage. Of this company 
Mr. Wike was elected chairman. Three years later the company 
ceased to exist, Mr. Wike and Mr. G. H. Browne jointly buying 
out the other shareholders at a small premium. Through the 
failure of John Wike and Sons shortly afterwards, the theatre fell 
into the hands, as sole proprietor, of Mr. Browne. While in 
Bury Mr. Wike was one of the most prominent of local Free- 
masons. His mother Lodge was St. John No. 191. He had 
the reputation of being connected with all the lodges in Bury, 
and had passed through the chair of several, including the Prince 
of Wales, No. 1012, held at the Derby Hotel. He arranged 
most of the dances held by the latter lodge. Several provincial 
offices were also held by him. Mr. Wike's mother was a daughter 
of Dr. Hardy, of Eckington, Derbyshire. Messrs. G. E. and W. 
Wike are his brothers. He leaves a son, John Howard Wike, 
who is in America, and a daughter, Grace, who is the wife of 
Mr. Freeland, solicitor, London." 

And, quite recently, this appreciation has interested many 
old singers : 



" The death — March 7th, 1903 — of Mr. W. S. Barlow seems 
to" cause the middle of the nineteenth century, and the phases of 
. social life which then distinguished Bury, to recede farther into 
the past. Mr. Barlow was a member of the old choir of St. 
Paul's Church, which, under the direction of the late Mr. J. M. 
Wike, attained a very high degree of proficiency j and one of a 
small body of singers who, under the late Mr. D. W. Banks, did 
so much to raise the standard of musical knowledge and attain- 
ment in Bury in the fifties. They met first at St. Paul's (Bell) 
School, but soon adopted the Bury Athenaeum as a more centrally 
situated meeting place, and one less parochial in its character. 
Even Sir Charles Halle — he was plain Mr. Halle then — was 
glad to make use of the highly-trained nominees of Mr. Banks on 
occasions when his choir needed augmenting, a fact which speaks 
volumes for the thoroughness of the methods which this old-time 
Athenaeum conductor adopted. 

" Though one of the kindliest and most sympathetic, Mr. 
Banks was also one of the most exacting of musical directors. 
There was no chance of an ' inefficient ' passing his examination, 
and the ordeal of question and answer and trial once through, 
the vocalist felt that he had a standing that would be admitted 
in the best musical company in the town. Mr. Barlow himself 
possessed a true bass voice of rare timbre, and by means of close 
study and strict training he had attained such a degree of tech- 
nical knowledge as made him master of it. 

" The old Athenaeum choir had many members, besides their 
highly-accomplished regular conductor, who were able to wield 
the baton and take control of a choir. The successes in this 
direction of Mr. J. M. Wike and Mr. Kay Wild, director and 
secretary respectively of the choir, will not' be forgotten in Bury 
for a very long day ; and others who were able to undertake the 


conductor's duties were Mr. D. Hardman, Mr. Richard Hardman, 
and Mr. W. S. Barlow. The names of these musical men con- 
front us often in reading contemporary records of concerts in 
Bury in the fifties and sixties, and they recall the first visit of the 
late Mr. Sims Reeves to sing in the production of the cantata of 
Mr. Richard Hacking, Mus. Bac, afterwards the Rev. Richard 
Hacking, Mus. Doc, Rector and organist of Rodbourne, Wilt- 

Not long ago the writer saw a newspaper cutting from the 
Bury Times of January 29th, 1859, referring to an exhibition of 
photographic pictures at the Athenaeum, in which it was stated, 
" A number of glees were admirably sung by a select choir, under 
Mr. W. S. Barlow's direction, Mr. Randle Fletcher and Mr. 
Spragg rendering efficient service at the pianoforte." It was 
added that " the fairy fountain was magnificent as ever." This 
last sentence is a reference to a fountain which at this time was 
one of the attractions of the Athenaeum. In 1856 and 1857 Mr. 
Barlow's name often figured in the programme of the Athenaeum 
series of cheap concerts, which at the modest prices of is., 6d., 
and 3d., catered for a different class of people from those who 
attended the more expensive subscription concerts promoted by 
Mr. D. W. Banks. Sometimes he joined in glees with Miss Mar- 
garet Hall, Master H. Nuttall, and Mr. John Allanson. Mr. 
Barlow continued to be closely associated with music in Bury 
down to the eighties, and his opinion upon musical matters was 
held in the highest respect to the last. 




" 'Tis opportune to look back upon old times 
and contemplate our forefathers." — Sir Thomas Browne. 

From the Bury Times, April 3rd, 1897. 


THERE was another Bury, dififerent from that described in 
the preceding sketches by " N," which will give readers 
food for thought. I do not wish unkindly to reflect upon the 
two papers, but I feel disappointed after perusal of both. Gold- 
smith's line at the head of the first paper does not express my 
feelings towards the Bury so described. For one reason, the 
quotations from other writers, intended to more suitably express 
the present historian's feelings than he does himself, somewhat 
annoy my sense of fitness. Then again, as describing the founder 
of the Wrigley family fortunes, " dynasty " does not beseem the 
person referred to as " laid up in lavender," or his descendants. 
They would be the first to disclaim all title to be " a race of 
kings," and " Owd Jimmy," as I recall him going about the home- 
stead farm at Ash Meadows, was certainly not a type of man I 
could imagine would be contented to be " laid up in lavender." 
I may be wrong, but I will hazard the statement that " Bridge 
Hall " scarcely conveys an accurate description of the scene of 


the Wrigleys' early endeavours. Bridge Hall proper was a por- 
tion of Grundy's works for worsted spinning and wool-dyeing. 
" Bridge Hall Paper Mills " would lead an old Bury native in 
idea to " Broad Oak," a good piece of a mile beyond Bridge 

My earliest recollections go back to my working days at the 
waste-picking and white-willowing, about 1843, under the man- 
agement of Tom Wilson. He was a genial, kindly-spoken person, 
liked by young and old. I can yet recall the troubled state of 
mind when the Soho' took fire in the middle^ of the day. It 
seemed terrible, the destruction of material and the utter wreck 
of the fine structure which occupied a considerable space of 
ground in the mill yard. Mr. Thomas Wrigley was at this time 
in the very prime of life, and full of energy, quick in temper, but 
I believe just in discrimination and decision. He appears to my 
memory now, at the head of the stairs leading into the room 
where " Old Granny " Howarth and her tribe of youthful waste- 
pickers were engaged. One searching glance sufficed, and if 
nothing called for remark he would wheel about and depart as 
he had come. No place about the Broad Oak Works escaped 
his attention. He was a good judge of character, and the genus 
" skulk " found no abiding-place in any department of his works. 
Bridge Hall, the seat of a past member of the Holt family of 
Grizlehurst, was at this period occupied by Mr. Edmund Grundy, 
junior, who afterwards migrated to Cheatham Hill; and Mr. 
Sam. Grundy, then living at Lark Hill, moved to Bridge Hall. 

After leaving Bury by the old road to Rochdale, there were 
few houses between Topping Fold and Fairfield. Between Fair- 
field and Broad Oak paper mill there existed, of course, farm- 
houses here and there ; no other houses besides the row named 
Lodge View. On the new road to Rochdale, after passing 
" The Seven Stars," things are pretty much as they were, except 


as to the rebuilding of Ash Meadows, the residence, subsequently 
to his father's death, of Mr. James Wrigley. The future his- 
torian may perhaps touch in with a kindly pen the incidents 
which contributed to the growth of Bury in those days. The 
decadence is equally remarkable. " The Shed " was a busy 
scene in woollen manufacture ; and I have heard Thomas Hey- 
wood say the woollen trade was so brisk at one period that John 
and Edmund Grundy and Co. bought as much to supplement 
their own manufactures as they produced at Heap Bridge. In 
the time I refer to " The Seven Stars " was known as a sort of 
village Parliament house. Its patrons during the occupancy of 
" Owd Kester " (Christopher Greenhalgh) were among the local 
tradesmen. Between Whitehead Bridge and " The Seven Stars " 
there were few houses besides Walker Terrace and Queen Street. 
Wike's Lane led into Wash Lane. Midway on the right was Mr. 
Thomas Horrocks's residence. His daughter Mary became the 
wife of John Lomax Openshaw, the second son of Laurence 
Rogers Openshaw, of Brick House. Samuel Horrocks became 
an engineer, and removed from his native town. I believe there 
was a notice in the Bury Times recently of a son of this Mr. 
John Lomax Openshaw and his wife Mary, the daughter of Mr. 
Thomas Horrocks. 

The notice referred to in foregoing is not preserved, but a 
more recent one appeared early in the present year, as follows : 


" An appeal has been made to the public in London and to 
Masonic Lodges by the Lord Mayor of London on behalf of the 
London Hospital, another wing of which the King and Queen 
are to open. The Queen has already endowed the wing, and has 
taken the greatest interest in this hospital, which is situated in 
the East of London where the poor mostly live. 

^4 Bygone burv. 

"A correspondent writes: — 'It is a pleasure to know that 
one of the chief surgeons of the London Hospital is Mr. Thomas 
Horrocks Openshaw, I.M.S., C.M.G., F.R.C.S. Mr. Openshaw 
is a Bury man, and son of the well-known Mr. J. L. Openshaw, 
of Heap Bridge, and is related to many of the old Bury families, 
including Mr. Henry Whitehead, the High Sheriff. Mr. Open- 
shaw left Bury about 20 years ago, after serving some consider- 
able time with the Ramsbottom Paper Manufacturing Co., where 
he received a severe injury to one of his arms. On going to 
London to consult a surgeon, he made up his mind to enter the 
medical profession. Without influence, he has risen to the top 
of the ladder, is now one of the leading surgeons in London, 
living at Wimpole Street Home Surgery, and was for many years 
contemporary of Sir Frederick Treves, of the London Hospital. 
He was the first surgeon whom the King on his accession 
honoured with the C.M.G. for services to the poor in London, 
and also for services in South Africa. Mr. Openshaw went to 
South Africa for the Government as consulting surgeon : he was 
captured by De Wet, and was with that General when he routed 
the Derbyshires, and was left behind, by De Wet to help the 
wounded and dying. He was for many years in charge of the 
popular hospital whicK is situated outside the London docks, 
and which was an excellent school for a young surgeon, as the 
number of serious accidents (including broken limbs) average 12 
to 15 a day. Mr. Openshaw has also been presented to the 
Court, and is a regular attender at levees. He was in charge of 
Buckingham Palace on the Queen's Jubilee, and one of the few 
recipients who received a silver medal. The King at his Coron- 
ation also presented Mr. Openshaw with a Coronation medal. 
Upon his leaving England for South Africa, hundreds of students 
gave him a send-off both from Liverpool Street Station and the 
Docks, carrying him round the Liverpool Street Station shoulder 


high several times. An exceedingly popular man in the hospital, 
he is lecturer of anatomy at the London University, and consult- 
ing surgeon to the Olmond Street Children's Hospital and to 
the Surgical Aid Society, a society to enable poor people to pro- 
cure instruments either free or at a very low cost. Mr. Open- 
shaw is proud of being a Lancastrian and a Bury man especially. 
He has repeatedly taken the chair at the Lancastrian Society's 
entertainments, and was W.M. of the Lancastrian Lodge of Free- 
masons in London for two years.' " 

I believe I am right in saying that the residence of Mr. 
Thomas Horrocks had formerly been Mr. Wike's, and that fact 
had given rise to the name " Wike's Lane." I am now referring 
to the name as current in 1830 and previously, as well as 

To return to Heap Bridge for a brief space — there was at 
Ben Mill in those days a venerable man as manager over the 
carding and slubbing, by name William Leach. One of his 
daughters became the wife of Mr. Thomas Fairbrother, an in- 
timate friend of Mr. James Smithells, who became the eminent 
railway manager. Commencing under the East Lancashire di- 
rectorate — ^merging into the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 
— he afterwards went to Glasgow to manage the Caledonian 
Railway. From the same office at Bury went the now eminent 
railway manager. Sir Myles Fenton. During the construction of 
the East Lancashire railway and the line from Bury to Castleton, 
Mr. James Liyesey, formerly blacksmith, Heap Bridge, became 
prominent, as concerned in the work. His daughter Martha 
became the wife of Mr. James Smithells. Another daughter, 
Sarah, became the wife of Mr. Arthur Bentley, who started the 
small iron foundry, in Wike's Lane, which was afterwards oc- 
cupied by Livesey and Ashton as caddy sheet weavers. After 
Mr. William Ashton relinquished work there, Mr. John Hamer 


(who had left Walker and Lomax, and had been manager for a 
time of the mill, then recently erected by the late Mr. Charles 
Edward Lomax — now J. K. Schofield and Co. Limited) carried 
on cotton manufacturing. 

The inception of Co-operative or Joint Stock manufacturing 
was doubtless the work of the village Parliament held at " The 
Seven Stars," Little Bridge. There, in the little snug, would 
assemble for " nightcaps " and smoke, a few who became active 
in the formation of the Bury and Heap Commercial Company. 
There would be Mr. Samuel Kay, of Wash Lane, hatter ; Mr. 
James Livesey, of Heap Bridge ; Mr. Edmund Bridge, who had 
succeeded Mr. Livesey at the smithy at Heap Bridge ; Mr. George 
Smith, of Heap Bridge ; Mr. John Greenhalgh, son of Chris- 
topher, the old " boniface " of " The Seven Stars." These 
names will all be found as those of the most active promoters of 
the new company. Mr. John Lightbown, grocer, of Freetown, 
was another. [The author's identity for obvious reasons, was 
somewhat hidden in the initials. But under their new dress 
there no longer "need be secrecy. The first Secretary to the 
Bury and Heap Commercial Company was the present Author. 
And he is informed that the Share Certificates of the first shares 
still bear his signature. And so far as the Bury and Elton 
Manufacturing Company was concerned, the Author, at request 
of Mr. Thomas Barlow, put that new Company's books in correct 
order ; and produced the first balance sheet for the first meeting 
of shareholdersj. The Lancashire Waggon Company had then 
become a great success, and it was quite reasonable that if out- 
siders could conduct a successful business, even without a work- 
shop, in supplying rolling stock to railway companies and coal 
agents and others, the like enterprising spirit would succeed in 
the cotton trade. So rose up the Bury and Heap Commercial 
Company, whose shareholders were found far and near. Roch- 


dale people showed great confidence in the men at the head of 
the new venture. Hey^vood people also. Then sprang up the 
Bury and Elton Manufacturing Company, at the old mill vacated 
by Mr. John Walker, in Elton. At the formation of this latter 
company the experience of an old manufacturer was of great 
value, in the person of Mr. Thomas Barlow, who for a long 
period was manager of Brickhouse Mill after cotton became the 
staple wrought there. Mr. Thomas Barlow will be recalled to 
mind as subsequently the head of the paper-woollen business, 
with his son, Mr. Micah barlow, who wis- in his youthful days 
one of Bury's crack cricketers. 

In this brief notice you will find names of many who have 
had no mean share in the past successes of trades in Bury. But 
if we investigate the history of Bury trade for a generation or 
two further back it will be found that the enterprising spirit of 
the townsfolk was no mean adjunct to the renown of their county 
generally. The Openshaws, Hutchinsons, Walkers, Grundysj 
Ashtons, Rothwells, Kays, all come into view. Of some of these 
I purpose jotting down some traditionary items and recollections 
in the hope that they may fill up gaps in local history which seem 
like voids that ought not to remain, if we are to take a place 
worthy our deserts in the future. It has been the case in the 
past of Bury that money-making has appeared to be the principal 
end in life. Historians have been struck with the fact that 
seldom has one risen to the occasion to recount the facts worth 
noting. The cause of this may be found -in the fact that as a 
town we have had a plethora of talent, with an accompanying 
disinclination to exercise it for the benefit of future generations. 




From the Bury Times, April loth, 1897. 

|_| OLLOWING my last paper, I may continue reference to 
*■ some names not yet entirely forgotten by old residents of 
Bury and neighbourhood ; for down the stream of Time memory 
is to these readers the only source of real enjoyment of life. 
Experience, recollections of participation in scenes remembered 
in early life, we often find to be an endless round of enjoyment to 
these survivors of " Bygone Days." MThat life was then cannot 
possibly be imagined by the present generation. Pictures may 
be thrown on the screen, and vivid descriptions given by pen or 
tongue ; but all come short of pourtraying to young people of 
this day the actual life. 

Two generations have passed since Bridge Hall Paper Mills 
were worked by Messrs. Wrigley and Nuttall. I have no trace 
of the branch of the Nuttall family which went into partnership 
with the Wrigley firm, subsequent to J. and F. Wrigley. Was it 
not a " Squire Nuttall " whose death was the opportunity which 
James Wrigley took for establishing the firm subsequently so 
widely known as James Wrigley and Sons ? The period I refer 
to would be the latter days of hand-loom weaving. Power-looms 
would be only just heard of at this time. We find James Wrigley 


and Son, dimity, quilting, and fustian manufacturers, 22, Fleet 
Street, Bury; and James Wrigley and Son, bleachers and 
spinners, at Gigg Mill. The old water-power mill at Gigg was 
the place where yarns were prepared for weaving in the cottage 
loom-houses round the neighbourhood. 

One family to which Bury owes much of the prosperity en- 
joyed during the past sixty or seventy years sprang from the 
firm of William Walker and Sons, woollen manufacturers, Stanley 
Street. To give readers some idea of how this came about I 
must go into some genealogical particulars. In seeking for 
causes of change in a given locality we sometimes discover the 
key to some family history — a key to unlock the repository 
containing the explanation of causes and consequences we 
otherwise should fail to comprehend. I do not propose to 
lay emphasis upon the points in my narrative which throw 
the light upon subsequent events. A " tree " genealogic- 
ally grown up, which should show the trade of Bury as it was 
evolved out of the elements of energy and capital in the early 
years of this century, would be a most remarkable tree. The 
rootings and graftings, the foliage and branches, the vigorous 
trunk and the decaying tops, along with prominent branches, 
would be a marvellous picture. My readers will be surprised, 
probably, that I should have to say there is only one stem of 
this composite tree indigenous to Bury soil, strictly speaking. 
To the elucidation of the suggested picture, I should say one 
stem will have been brought from Whitefield ; another came from 
Burnley district ; another, or perhaps two, came from Bolton and 
district. From these various localities there appeared, as time 
marched on, such combinations of families as resulted in our 
past prosperity and pomp. I must carry the minds of my readers 
back into the misty past, when Moorside was actually the outer 
edge of the moors. Probably there would be then only a few 


Straggling houses between the end of Walmersley Lane and the 
ancient Parish Church. From the Parish Church to Bury Bridge 
would be the narrow old Mill Lane. Water Street, Stanley 
Street, Rock Street, and Fleet Street would be a sequence of 
windings and turnings, so to speak, a map of which would be 
amusing to the pupils in the modern Technical School. This 
tortuous line of houses would end at the old Bury Cross, which 
stood on the spot now occupied by Peel's monument. Much of 
the trade of Bury, in those old days, was carried on in the stretch 
of houses I have named. 

For the purpose of my present paper I must go back still 
further ; and I do so in order to make clear the connections 
traceable between the present and the past. I find myself among 
the records of the turbulent epoch, about the time of Oliver 
Cromwell. Peter Ormerod, of Ormerod, in the County of Lan- 
caster, was the son and heir of Laurence, the twelfth in descent 
from Matthew de Homerode, living 55 Henry III. I name this 
Peter because he was the son of Elizabeth, the daughter of 
Robert Barcroft of Barcroft, and his wife Elizabeth, the daughter 
of John Roberts, of Foxstones. These localities have all a 
special interest to antiquaries, and, as will shortly appear, are 
also of interest to Bury readers of to-day. Peter Ormerod, above 
named, was twice married. His first wife was Jennet, daughter 
of John Howarth, of Monton, in Eccles ; and it is with George 
Ormerod, the fourth son of this marriage, I am firstly concerned. 
He married Annie Pilling, of Eccles. The issue of this marriage, 
three sons and two daughters, are recorded — Laurence, Oliver, 
Peter, Elizabeth, and Annie. Laurence died during his father's 
lifetime, without leaving issue. Oliver and Peter came to reside 
in Walmersley and Bury. This Oliver Ormerod married twice. 
Alice, the daughter of Charles Howarth, of Chatterton Hey, 
Tottington, was his second wife. Married in 1704 and dying 


25 th June, 1740, she left one son and four daughters. Oliver, 
her husband, survived to a great age; born in 1672, he outlived 
his second wife 28 years, and paid Nature's debt in 1768. Their 
only son, George, married Anne, the daughter of John Hutchin- 
son, of Bury. This George was born 17 19, and dying 29th June, 
1789, was buried at St. John's Chapel, Bury. I believe he was 
the youngest child of the above-named Oliver Ormerod. Eliz- 
abeth, probably the eldest of Oliver Ormerod's daughters, 
married 28th October, 1725, John Openshaw, of Pimhole. They 
had five sons and two daughters. Mary, the eldest of these girls, 
married Henry Butterfield, of Bury. This Mary was born 7th 
December, 1732. In the early years of this century there were 
two persons of this name in business in Bury, viz., James Butter- 
field, linen draper, and shoe dealer. Fleet Street, and Thomas 
Butterfield, shuttlemaker, near Stanley Street. Presumably these 
were sons of Henry Butterfield and his wife Mary Openshaw. 
Ann, the sister of this Mary, was born 17th February, r735, and 
married nth June, 1753, to Robert Battersby, of Bury. Many 
readers will recognise this family name. I can recall the old 
house this family occupied, fifty years ago, in Parsons Lane. 
One of the earliest Bury Improvement Commissioners is recorded 
as Robert Battersby, junior, who sat for the years 1847, 1848, 
1849, ^"^d 1850. He was engaged in the woollen manufacture. 

I must now take the sons of the afore-mentioned Ormerod- 
Openshaw wedding. The eldest, James, born 1726, died 1835. 
John, the second son, born 1729, died 1781; his wife, Betty, 
survived till 1801. I find three daughters born of this couple — 
the wife of George Holt, of Starkies ; the wife of Richard Kay, 
of Limefield ; and Jane the wife of William Norris. The third 
son of the Ormerod-Openshaw marriage was Thomas Openshaw, 
of Stanley Street, Bury, who married first Margaret Walker (of 
whom further mention will be made), and, second, Sarah Powell. 


The fourth son was George, named " George of 'Seals ; " and the 
fifth son was James Openshaw of Redvales. This George, " of 
Seals," remained at Pimhole, and his wife was Elizabeth Hey- 
wood. Of their family we must treat , after a brief return to 
Peter Ormerod of Ormerod, who married for his second wife 
Margaret Ormerod; in all probability this was a marriage of 
cousins. The issue traced of this second marriage has especial 
interest for many persons in Bury. It will throw light upon the 
family history and names of many of the most eminent townsfolk. 
The record available to the writer shows one son born to Peter 
Ormerod, of Ormerod, and his second wife, Margaret Ormerod, 
viz., Oliver Ormerod, of Foxstones. Foxstones estate probably 
came into the Ormerod family, as indicated above, by the mar- 
riage of Elizabeth Roberts with Robert Barcroft, whose daughter 
Elizabeth was the mother of this Peter Ormerod. Be that as it 
may, we have Oliver Ormerod, of Foxstones, marrying Mary 
Spenser. Their son Laurence married Mary Halsted, whose 
son, Oliver Ormerod, married Elizabeth Hartley; of which last 
wedding we find two sons, William and John, recorded. William, 
the eldest of these two, of Foxstones, was baptised in 171 7. He 
married Sarah Lord (probably the daughter of John Lord, of 
Broadclough, in Rossendale). Of this marriage I have record of 
one son and two daughters. This son, Oliver Ormerod, was never 
married, but his namesake is represented to-day, by the son of his 
godchild, in the person of the esteemed Mayor of Bury (1897) 
Alderman Oliver Ormerod Walker, J.P. This brings me back 
to ancient Stanley street, in Bury. There was once a firm styled 
William Walker and Sons, woollen manufacturers, Stanley Street. 
William Walker, at the head of this firm, married Mary Ormerod, 
the daughter of William Ormerod, of Foxstones. I may incident- 
ally say that this William Walker was the son of Richard Walker, 
of Stone Pale Farm, and his wife, Rachel Grundy, of Balding- 


Stone. And, also, let me here say that Margaret Walker, who 
became the wife of Thomas Openshaw, of Stanley Street, was 
sister of this Richard, of Stone Pale Farm. 

The reader has, in the foregoing, evidence as to how Bury 
became noted as " a good market town." The Ormerods, Open- 
shaws, Walkers, Hutchinsons, Grundys, Kays, and Battersbys 
were all eminent in trade. What does the " town and trade " of 
Bury owe to the offspring of the last-named wedding from Fox- 
stones ? The mere enumeration of the sons of William Walker 
and his wife Mary (Ormerod) will be sufficient to lead older 
readers to ask " how much ! " 

Since the above was written the Author has met with the 
following note by Canon Raines, which carries this family back 
a few generations : 

17 Aug. 1753. 

Jnb'^ betw Rt. Hon. Edward Earl of Derby IP' and 
Richard Walker of Bury Co. Lanes. 2"^ p' Recites the Surr. of 
a Lease date 22 July 1719 wherein is in being the life of Mary 
Guy & of Surr. of another Ind" dated y^ April 1713 Wherein 
are in being the lives of Jonathan Lees and Elizabeth Walker 
and also of Surr. of anoth' Lease date 1=' Oct. 1718, wherein are 
in being the lives of John Holt & Richard Holt and also the 
sum of £iiH s^ Earl lets all that Tent in Unsworth called Parr's 
being a house and housing & outhouse, 15 bays & land there, and 
in Whitefield, being 29a. ir. op. large measure, 8 yds. to rod, in 
the manor of Pilkington s* Co. now in tent' s'' Richard Walker, 
except Woods, Mines, Free Warren, Birds and Beasts of Free 
Warren with libs' for Earl his heirs and assigns to enter Hunt 
Hawk and Kill Game and take all Fish and Wild Fowle & En- 
close Wastes within said manor To have &c. for lives of Richard 
Walker age 19 and John Walker aged 3 years, sons of s'' Richard, 
and George son of James Holt of Bury Innkeeper at 4 y'= Rent 
£1 2s. od. and to keep a Dog and a Cock, and plant 20 young 
Trees of Oak, Ash, or Elm yearly. 


This Lease of 1753 will be found to refer to the Richard 
Walker, the great-grandfather of the first Member of Parliament 
for Bury. It was this Richard, aged 19 in 1753, that married 
Rachel Grundy. 

On the 17 th April the following appeared in the Bury Times : 

Note : — " Mr. Jeffrey P. Nuttall, Frecheville Place, Bury, writes : 
' Referring to an account of Bygone Bury in last Saturday's Bury 
Times, in which your contributor says he has ' no trace of the 
branch of the Nuttall family which went into partnership with 
the Wrigley firm ' — the Nuttall referred to was not Squire 
Nuttall, as he supposes, but was John Nuttall, son of Robert 
Nuttall, of Top-o'th'-Lee, ShuttleAvorth. The partnership was 
entered into in 1820 for a term of seven years. After the dis- 
solution of partnership John Nuttall commenced business on his 
own account as a paper manufacturer at Heap Bridge. He died 
on the i8th February, 1837, aged 47 years. His two surviving 
sons, Robert Nuttall, of York House, Whitefield, and John 
Nuttall, of the address at the head of this letter, are well known." 


From the Bury Times, April 17th, 1897. 

WITH regard to the marriage of William Walker and Mary 
Ormerod — the former, head of the firm of William 
Walker and Sons, woollen manufacturers, Stanley Street, Bury ; 
the latter, daughter of William Ormerod, of Fbxstones — I have 
records of six sons and four daughters. Richard Walker, the 
first representative of Bury in Parliament, was the first-born of 
this marriage. He married Ann, daughter of John Scholes, of 
Bury, of whose issue I have records of Richard, of Bellevue; 
John Scholes, of Limefield; William; Mary, who married Mr. 
Vance, of Blackrock, Co. Dublin ; Anne, wife of the Rev. Henry 
Ainslie ; and Jane, wife of Colonel Roberts, of the 4th Regiment 
of Foot. After Richard, Member of Parliament, I find Samuel 
Grundy Walker, who died unmarried, and then I come to Oliver 
Ormerod Walker, the favourite and godchild of his bachelor uncle 
above referred to, and whose name he received. Who among the 
residents of Bury will fail to recall the gentleman I here refer to ? 
His affable, dignified, gentle demeanour, even to the lowliest of 
his workpeople, endeared him to all. He was really the type of 
" a fine old English gentleman," as I recall him. William 
Walker was the fourth son. The two brothers, William and 
Oliver Ormerod Walker were co-partners with John Lomax, of 


Springfield, in the firm of Walker and Lomax, of Moor Side 
Works, of which more may be written yet. We have one other 
brother to mention, John Walker, who commenced the extensive 
works in Elton, subsequently occupied by the joint-stock com- 
pany named the Bury and Elton Commercial Company. Of the 
daughters of William Walker and his wife Mary, of Foxstones, 
Sarah became the wife of John Hutchinson, and Rachel married 
William Harper, solicitor. I have mentioned the marriage of 
Richard, the Member of Parliament. His brother William 
married Jane Judith, daughter of William Calrow, and John 
Walker married Catherine, the daughter of Samuel Holker. 

Here we have other old Bury firms brought into our narra- 
tive — ^William and Thomas Calrow, merchants and cotton spin- 
ners, Woodhill ; Samuel Holker, woollen manufacturer, Millgate ; 
and Thomas and John Hutchinson, woollen manufacturers. Silver 
Street. I am unable to follow, further than the mention of the 
only son of the above Oliver Ormerod Walker, namely, the 
present chief magistrate of Bury, Colonel Oliver Ormerod Walker. 
Returning to the earlier marriage into the Ormerod family, we find 
ourselves again in Stanley Street, at the house of Thomas Open- 
shaw, the third son of John of that ilk, of Pimhole, and Elizabeth, 
the daughter of Oliver Ormerod, of Walmersley, before named. 
Here we. have the clue to the Christian names " Oliver Ormerod " 
Openshaw and " Ormerod " Openshaw, names met with in two 
separate branches of this family. There are many descendants 
surviving in Bury of this first marriage of Thomas Openshaw 
and his wife, Margaret Walker. They had a very numerous 
family. This Thomas Openshaw was, as stated, twice married, 
and of the second marriage you have Charles Openshaw, the 
founder of " Owd Charley's," Butcher Lane. The two families 
born to Thomas of Stanley Street numbered upwards of twenty 
sons and daughters. In tracing the history of this family, we 


discover the only surviving firm (in the sole proprietorship of a 
member of the Openshaw family), is the cotton spinning and 
manufacturing carried on in Elton by James Henry Openshaw, 
whose wife is daughter to Joseph Newbold, a former employer of 
labour in Bury. In 1818 there was Joseph Newbold, millwright, 
engineer, and manufacturer of wrought-iron, steam boilers, &c., 
and smiths' work of all descriptions. Rock Street. Subsequently 
this business was carried on in Paradise Street, by the first-named 
Joseph Newbold. To trace the connections of these early 
business men in Bury is interesting. During the early years of 
the Pimhole branches of woollen manufacturing, it was quite 
natural that there would be offshoots transplanting themselves 
away from the parent stock. Hence we find Thomas, of Stanley 
Street. He had a son, John Openshaw, who married a first 
cousin, Alice, the daughter of George " of Seales.'' This Alice 
was the eldest daughter of George Openshaw and his wife Eliz- 
abeth Heywood. To enumerate the children of this family is 
once more to remind readers of what the " town and trade " of 
Bury owe to the enterprising spirit derived from the Ormerod- 
Openshaw union. We have, then, Alice, as named, marrying 
John, her cousin, of Stanley Street. Of this and what it led to 
we shall find more to say. Rachel, the next child, married a 
Pilkington; Elizabeth, the next after Rachel, died unmarried. 
Mary, the fourth daughter, married her cousin, William Walker 
Openshaw, of Eden Street. John Openshaw, the eldest son, 
married Mary, the daughter of John Topping, of Topping Fold, 
Bury; Ann, the sixth-born, married John Lomax, of Barrack 
Fold, Ainsworth, of whom it will also be interesting to relate 
some facts regarding the trade of Bury. Margaret, the seventh 
child, married John Wike, of Croft House. George, the second 
son, and eighth and last child, remained only a brief period at 
Pimhole. Leaving the parental roof, he began life for himself 


at Brickhouse. He married Mary, the daughter of Richard 
Booth, of Pits-o'-th'-Moor. In the above series of names it will 
again be readily seen how much the trade of Bury was influenced 
by this family. Herein we discover the origin of four new firms. 
John Openshaw of Stanley Street, with his wife Alice of Pimhole, 
set up housekeeping and started business at Starkies, Manchester 
Road — all statements to the contrary notwithstanding. There 
is no need to dwell upon this assertion, beyond remarking, for 
the benefit of subscribers to the voluminous pedigree published 
a few years ago, that this branch of the family pedigree is ad- 
mitted by the compiler of the volume mentioned, to be imperfect, 
by reason of paucity of information procurable before pub- 
lication. However, from this marriage of Alice with her cousin 
John, and also through the marriage of Ann, the sister of this 
Alice, with John Lomax, of Barrack Fold, we come to some 
incidents affecting the trade of Bury, as we shall see further on. 

John Openshaw, last-mentioned, who settled at Starkies, 
carried on woollen cloth manufacturing. But there was com- 
petition to be reckoned with in those days, as ever since. His 
uncle George " of Seales " was carrying on a similar business at 
Pimhole. John at Starkies had rather an uphill job before him. 
He was, however, a man of kindly nature, and willing to help a 
poor fellow in need, as the following little incident will show. 
Many readers will be acquainted with the romantic history of a 
subsequently famous family who came southward in search of 
fortune ; and, as tradition affirms, surveyed the scenes of their 
future successes from the hill-top now crowned with the memorial 
known as Grant's Tower — on the eminence opposite stands 
a further monument, bearing the name of another enterprising 
family which came down the same valley and also helped 
to make Bury notable in the manufacturing world. The 
men of Scotia trudged their way on to Bury, making, no doubt, 


as historians say, for Hampson Mills. They found themselves 
benighted on reaching the homestead of John and Alice Open- 
shaw at Starkies. They craved food and lodgings, and obtained 
both. The then five-year-old son of John and Alice Openshavv 
used to relate in his old age this incident of his childhood's 
days — how his mother sent him with supper for the strangers, 
and how his father bade him help them to needful straw for a 
shakedown bed. Another incident he would also relate with 
pride — the ownership of a pony his parents humoured him with. 
This indulgence might be the emulation of pride of birth ; but 
fate willed it to be of brief duration. In 1782 there came a 
change of fortune, and removal from Bury ensued. John Open- 
shaw obtained a very lucrative position in Birmingham, with a 
brewer and distiller. His wife left the scene of their reverses. 
In the last journey her husband made homeward he called at 
the hostelry of his cousin Dawson at Whitefield, where he caught 
a chill, which had increased in virulence by the time he reached 
home, and after a short illness he died. This was some years 
after they had left Bury. The widow, Alice, returned to Pimhole 
with her family, now increased to four or five, of which her three 
boys are concerned, more or less, with our history -of the bygone 
tradefolk of the town. Alice was a woman of high spirit, strong 
will, and great independence of character— qualities which had 
not a little influence upon the future of some of the more recent 
firms in Bury. Her sister Ann also, through her children, ex- 
hibited so wise a discrimination as to conduce to further in- 
fluencing and moulding the destinies of some of the large 
establishments in the town. Alice, the widow just named, had 
three sons — James the eldest, John the next, and Thomas the 
youngest. Of the descendants of James, John (the eldest) was 
some time in the service of the late Richard Hacking, at Heaton 
Grove ; George was for years in the cotton waste trade ; Henry 
was in early life the cashier and outrider for Simpson, Bland, and 


Howarth. These, with a sister, Sarah, who married William 
Shaw, of North Street, were the children of James by his first 
marriage. He married a second time, Ann, the daughter of 
Robert Shepherd and his wife Ellen Kay, of " Cobbas," who 
farmed the " Seales " farm at Pimhole. Of this marriage there 
were one daughter and two sons, Rachel (of whom the author is 
the eldest son), James, and William. 

In the family of John Openshaw, the second son of the 
widowed Alice, there were several sons who made their mark in 
the trade of Bury. James, the eldest of these, will be remem- 
bered as latterly partner in the firm of Walker and Lomax ; and 
his representatives remain, as the townsfolk will know ; Thomas 
was with John Walker up to the period of commencing on his 
own account the spinning of cotton in the Mosses ; Joshua was 
at one time, I believe, with Joseph Newbold, and subsequently 
developed a good business in oils and tallow — ^he married Eliz- 
abeth, the only child of his cousin George Openshaw ; Ormerod 
Openshaw died comparatively a young man, leaving sons still in 
Bury. Of Thomas, the third child left with the widowed Alice, 
only one child, a daughter, survived him — Ann, who became the 
second wife of John Lomax, son of Ann, her father's aunt. And 
thus readers of a genealogical turn may see how the family tree 
would grow and become intertwined. George Openshaw (the 
younger of the two sons of George " of Seales,") began the 
manufacture of woollen cloth at Brickhouse, sometime previously 
to the year 1818; we find in the Lancashire General Directory 
for 1818 that he was then at Brickhouse. Probably in anticipa- 
tion of contemplated change, he built the house of bricks, hence 
the place-name. His father was carrying on the same kind of 
business in Butcher Lane. His brother John remained at Pim- 
hole, founding ultimately the firm of John Openshaw, Sons, 
and Co. George was married in 1796; and we find records of 
one son and four daughters born of this marriage. In the Will 


and accompanying settlement of her affairs, Ann Lomax (named 
earlier on), sister of George, who settled at Brickhouse, mentions 
with special favour her son John of Springfield, and her daughter 
Eleanor Lomax. John Lomax was then a cotton manufacturer, 
39, Stanley Street, Bury, and " put out " warps and weft to hand- 
loom weavers, as forty years ago I often heard his old servant 
John Hunt relate. And here comes in the natural order of our 
narrative, that fact that the only surviving daughter of John Hunt 
married John Henry Openshaw, the eldest son of Henry, who 
was with Simpson, Bland, and Howarth. 

John Openshaw (who as just stated was the head of the firm 
of John Openshaw, Sons, and Co.) and his wife Mary, the 
daughter of John Topping of Topping Fold, had five sons and 
five daughters. John the eldest, born 1782, married a Miss 
Lord, but died childless. George the second son resided at 
Roach Bank (probably built for him), and he married Margaret 
Ramsbottom of Birtle. Ultimately he went to reside at Stony 
Hill, Southport. Thomas, known among his loving and beloved 
neighbours and the poor of Pimhole as " Mr. Thomas " or " Owd 
Mr. Tummy," has left his mark in several ways and places. His 
intense earnestness and endeavour for the benefit of his work- 
people was ever a distinguishing feature of his character. The 
school at Pimhole, St. Paul's Church, the monumental church at 
Pimhole, and the munificent charities left by his Will to Bury 
churches and charities, will ever keep green the memory of an 
unassuming personality. He was a bachelor, and at Primrose 
Hill, Pimhole, had with him his two spinster sisters, Richmal 
and Rachel. 

Oliver Ormerod, the fifth and last son of the family, I will 
here name out of his natural order, for the reason that to suit 
my narrative, I may refer more fully to James the fourth son. 
Oliver Ormerod married Dorothy, daughter of John Greenhow 
of Kendal — 'sister of Mrs. Grundy of Bankfield, whose husband, 


Thomas, was head of the noted firm of Thomas, Alfred, and 
John Grundy, solicitors. Here we have another family connec- 
tion blending various bygone notables. Bury has received one 
memorable token of sympathy from a good-natured son of this 
marriage, in the gift of the park or playground at Pimhole — the 
giver, Thomas Ormerod Openshaw, of recent memory. I will 
pass on now to James the fourth son, above referred to. Plain, 
unassuming, and careless of the world's comments, he would put 
on " wooden shoon " for a ramble out in the lanes leading from 
his house at Beechhill, by Gigg and Pilsworth farms, and round 
about, home again. He had met his fate at the fireside of 
Edmund Bolland's house. Heap Brow, and was married to Mary 
Bolland on the 19th June, 1823. They had born to them two 
sons and two daughters. John Ormerod Openshaw, the first- 
born child, was baptized at St. John's Church, Bury, 20th June, 
1824; and on the 2nd December, 1852, he married Alice, the 
daughter of Joshua Knowles. She was born 2nd June, 1823. 
Of this union I find record of one son, James, born 19th October, 
1853, and called away at the early age of twenty years, January 
2ist, 1873. A daughter, Jane, born in May, 1826, survived only 
about two years. Sarah Openshaw, the last of the children of 
Mary (Bolland) Openshaw, was born 9th March, r83i ; and 
married 9th July, 1862, John Bradbury, M.D., F.R.C.P., of 
Cambridge, who was born 27th February, 1841. And then, 
in 1833, Mary was called away by the dread summons. James 
Openshaw then sought for sympathy and help a second time at 
the same fireside where he found his first wife, Sarah Bolland 
taking her sister Mary's place on the 12th October, 1835. Sarah 
was the mother of James Alfred Openshaw, Mary Ann Open- 
shaw, and Arthur Albert Openshaw. This Mary Ann Openshaw 
married William Ormerod Walker, son of the senior partner of 
Walker and Lomax, and cousin in first degree to Colonel O. O. 
Walker, now Mayor of Bury. Readers cannot fail to observe the 


persistence with which " Ormerod " held the families referred to. 
There comes a period when the healing hand of time leads the 
sorrowing to dwell less on the past, and more upon present duties 
and responsibilities. Some such change came over John Ormerod 
Openshaw's sorrowing widow, who became the wife of Dr. Davies, 
a name associated with loving deeds for the benefit of the women 
of Bury. 

The County Borough of Bury, in the County Palatine of 
Lancaster, of the year 1897, differs so much from the Bury of 
1837, in all directions — it seems as if you are under some en- 
chanter's wand. You are making history at a marvellous rate. 
This is a digression I could not resist after reading your paper 
of April 3rd. One's thoughts go back to the pitiless days in the 
hard times which were the lot of the day labourers of sixty years 
ago. Why, to the children of those days a stick of slate pencil 
was a positive treasure ; a blacklead pencil was the envy of every 
lad who could not indulge in a copper to buy one; paper — 
writing paper — was even more precious to the struggling youth 
of that time. 

Note. — John and Alice Openshaw named in this chapter united in 
their marriage the Openshaws of Pimhole and Stanley Street. For a 
generation or two the burial place of this John was a mystery to the 
family. Such, at anyrate, was the information conveyed to the author. 
In the latter part of April, 1903, the author discovered a gravestone in 
Bury Parish Churchyard which undoubtedly gives the long desired particulars. 
"Joseph the son of John and Alice Openshaw of Redvales died 1784 
aged 2 years.'' 

"John Openshaw died 23 July 1790 aged 39 years.'' 
" Elizabeth their daughter died 1797 in her 20th year." 
" Alice the wife of John Openshaw died May 18 1812 aged 58 years.'' 
The Openshaw Pedigree published a few years ago is somewhat incom- 
plete as to this branch of the family. There was mutual regret expressed 
between the author of that Pedigree and the present writer that they had 
not sooner met. 





THE town and trade of Bury suffered much in years long 
past from popular ignorance and blindness ; in no in- 
stance more than in the treatment of John Kay and his son 
Robert, whose inventions have done so much for the world. 
Shuttles, reeds, and cards were so greatly modified by these far- 
sighted men as to entirely change the methods of spinning 
fibrous material and weaving cloth. Bury raised a monument to 
the statesman who made large loaves possible out of the means 
formerly absorbed in procuring small loaves. Bury should raise 
a monument to commemorate the inventions of the two Kays. 

In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1867 there is a paper (vol. 
iii., p. 336) upon " Monuments to Public Benefactors." After 
one or two cases in point the writer says : 

" But perhaps no more striking instance of such neglect is 
exhibited than in the case of the two Kays — John and Robert, 
father and son, of Bury, Lancashire. John invented the extended 
lathe, fly-shuttle, and picking-peg, together with woollen and 
cotton carding engine, the original model of which is in the 


possession of Thomas Oram, Esq., of Bury, his grandson. Robert, 
his son, invented the wheel-shuttle and drop-box. John's history 
is a melancholy one. Educated abroad, where he acquired a 
taste for mechanics, he came to England and set up a woollen 
manufactory at Colchester, previously marrying the daughter of 
John Holt, Esq., of Bury, to which place he afterwards moved, 
and where he made these inventions. The reception he met 
with verified the old prediction respecting prophets, &c., and he 
was obliged to flee to Paris, where he died ' a heart-broken exile,' 
and no trace of him has ever been discovered." 

It was in the year 1733 that John Kay invented the fiy- 
shuttle and picking-peg. Baines in his History of the Cotton 
Manufacture, says : 

" Mr. Kay brought this ingenious invention to his native 
town, and introduced it among the woollen weavers in the same 
year, but it was not much used among the cotton weavers until 
1760. In that year Mr. Robert Kay, of Bury, son of Mr. John 
Kay, invented the drop-box, by means of which the weaver can 
at pleasure use any one of three shuttles, each containing a 
different coloured weft, without the trouble of taking them from 
and replacing them in the lathe." 

Baines derives his information from Mr. Guest, who had 
written a History of the Cotton Manufacture, getting his informa- 
tion from a manuscript lent to him by Mr. Samuel Kay of Bury, 
son of Mr. Robert Kay the inventor of the drop-box. In a 
directory for 181 8 I find mention of Samuel Kay, gentleman, 27, 
Union Square, and Samuel Kay, gentleman, 44, Fleet Street ; 
also Samuel Kay, farmer, 24, Stanley Street. The Samuel Kay 
of 27, Union Square, I find in another directory for 1824-5, 
recorded as cotton manufacturer; and as the Samuel Kay of 
Fleet Street does not again appear, I assume he was dead or had 


removed. He was the person named by Guest. Another ac- 
count says : 

" In the year 1738 John Kay (a relation of the celebrated Dr. 
Fletcher), a native of Bury, introduced the means of throwing 
the shuttle by means of the picking-stick instead of by hand, and 
hence called the fly-shuttle. In consequence of the fury of the 
populace he was compelled to remove to Colchester." 

Harland has it thus : 

"In 1738 John Kay, a native of Bury, but at this time of 
Colchester (to where he had fled from mob-usage at Bury), in- 
vented a new mode of throwing the shuttle (in weaving), by 
means of the picking-peg; and in 1760 Robert Kay, son of the 
foregoing, invented the drop-box for looms. Setting cards also 
belong to these two Kays of Bury." 

A fuller account, and more accurate I think, which has been 
compiled from various sources, states that John Kay was born at 
Park, Walmersley, near Bury, i6th July, 1704. Some writers 
refer to him as " Kay of Bury," to distinguish between him and 
a Warrington clockmaker named John Kay, who was associated 
with Arkwright in the inventions of spinning machinery. It 
would be interesting to trace the clockmaker's origin. Our Kay 
is said to have been educated abroad. When he came back 
from school his father, who had a woollen mill at Colchester, 
placed him in charge of it. But he could not have been very 
successful there, for we find that when he was about twenty-six 
years of age he was settled in Bury as a reedmaker, and in that 
year, 1730, took out his first patent (No. 515) for " an engine for 
making, twisting, and carding mohair, and twining and dressing 
of thread." The sequel proves that what Bury lost Saltaire and 
Paisley gained. About this period (1730) he also discerned a 
substitute for cane splits, in the rolling and polishing flattened 
wire, for reed-dents. These flat-wire dents could be made 


thinner and smoother than cane-splits, and fabrics of much finer 
and more even texture could be woven thereby. Then, in 1733, 
his fly-shuttle was patented (No. 542). By its use a weaver could 
easily double his former quantity of work, and equally increase 
its quality. In this same patent (542, 1733) was included a 
machine for .batting wool for removing dust from it by beating 
sticks. In 1738 the inventor's active mind conceived a method 
of utilising windmills for working pumps, and he took out a 
patent in that year for his windmill-pump (No. 561). He called 
himself in this windmill specification an engineer. Woodcroft, 
in his Brief Biographies of Inventors, says that in this year, 1738, 
John Kay moved to Leeds. The new shuttle was largely adopted 
by the woollen manufacturers of Yorkshire, but they were un- 
willing to pay royalties, and an association called the Shuttle 
Club was formed to defray the costs of legal proceedings for 
infringement of the patent. Kay found himself involved in many 
law-suits, and although he gained his cases in the courts, he was 
almost ruined by the expenses of prosecuting his claims. He 
was back in Bury in 1745, and in that year, along with Joseph 
Stell of Keighley, he obtained a patent (No. 612), for a small- 
ware loom, to be actuated by mechanical power instead of by 
hand. But this power-loom was never perfected, consequent 
upon his financial embarrassments and the opposition of the 
operatives. In the year 1753 a Bury mob broke into Kay's 
house, destroying everything they found, and he barely escaped 
with his life. Among his other inventions was a machine for 
making wire cards, and the original model is now exhibited in the 
South Kensington Museum. 

In his History of Manchester, 1793, Dr. Aiken says : 
" The cotton manufacture, originally brought from Bolton, 
is here carried on very extensively in most of its branches. A 
great number of factories are erected upon the rivers and upon 


many brooks within the Parish (of Bury), for carding and spin- 
ning both cotton and sheep's wool, also for fulling woollen cloth. 
The inventions and improvements here in different branches are 
astonishing. One of the most remarkable is a machine made by 
Mr. Robert Kay, son of the late Mr. John Kay, inventor of the 
wheel or flying-shuttle, for making several cards at once to card 
cotton or wool. The engine straightens wire out of the ring, 
cuts it in lengths, staples it, crooks it into teeth, pricks the holes 
in the leather, puts the teeth in, row after row, till the cards are 
finished ; all which it does at one operation of the machine, in 
an easy and expeditious manner, by a person turning a shaft, 
and touching neither the wire nor leather." 

The people of Bury in 1753 little thought of the future of 
their town. Yorkshire folk were as ready to take up the card- 
setter as they had been to take to the flying-shuttle. Halifax, 
Cleckheaton, and Brighouse were not slow in developing a trade 
by the use of the " New Bendigo," as they vulgarly named this 
wonderful little machine, not much larger than a present-day 
sewing machine. Candid friends are often unwelcome advisers. 
But I will venture to offer this bit of advice : If ever it should 
happen a rising genius brings out or starts a good thing in Bury, 
think twice before you drive it away. The object lesson at 
Butcher Lane, compared with the Accrington offshoot at Castle- 
ton, in machine-making, suggests what might have been. And 
in the Kays' experience, wire-drawing and card-making might 
have been two of the great trades in Bury (as they have con- 
tinued to this day in Halifax and neighbourhood) if bygone Bury 
folk had been wider awake. In 1780 there was published in 
London, by a writer who signed himself with only a " T.," Letters 
on the Utility and Policy of employing Machines to Shorten 
Labour. In this work a letter is quoted from John Kay, to the 
Society of Arts, dated 1764, saying : 


" I have a great many more inventions than what I have 
given in, and the reason I have not put them forward is the bad 
treatment that I have had from woollen and cotton factories in 
different parts of England twenty years ago, and then I applied 
to Parliament, and they would not assist me in my affairs, which 
obliged me to go abroad to get money to pay my debts and 
support my family.'' 

There is the plaint of a broken-spirited man in this quotation. 
No notice of the above is found in the minutes of the Society of 
Arts. However, there is mention in the minutes of the Society 
for 1764 that a letter was received from Robert Kay with refer- 
ence to his father's wheel-shuttle. After some inquiry, the 
secretary was instructed on 4th December, 1764, "to acquaint 
Mr. Kay that the Society does not know any person who under- 
stands the manner of using his shuttle." The Society of Arts 
were, by the showing of their secretary, almost as ignorant as 
the Bury mob of eleven years earlier. The Society of Arts, in 
London, in 1764, could not find anyone in England who could 
explain to them the manner of using the wheel-shuttle ! 

According to the author of the last-quoted work, John Kay 
" sought refuge in France, where he commenced business with 
the spinning machines smuggled out of England from Lancashire 
by one Holker some years before ; and he is said to have died in 
France in obscurity and poverty." Surely the awakened love of 
Art in Bury will ere long redeem from oblivion the name of John 
Kay ! In this matter Bury should not be behind Manchester 
when the Art Gallery is erected and adorned. Manchester, in 
her new Town Hall, thought it well to associate itself with this 
remarkable genius by commissioning Madox Brown to make 
John Kay and his fly-shuttle the subject for one of the frescoes 
for which the City Palace in Albert Square is now famous. The 
original portrait of John Kay is at the South Kensington Museum. 


It has been lithographed, and has also been engraved by T. O. 
Barlow as one of the series of portraits of inventors of textile 
machinery, published by Messrs. Agnew in 1862. The Bury Art 
Gallery ought to contain either the original, or as faithful a copy 
of it as can be obtained. And by means of scholarships (if not 
by a monument) the genius of John and Robert Kay ought to 
be recognised in the town with which they were so intimately 
identified, and whose inventions in connection with weaving — 
improvements which are to-day indispensable— enable hundreds 
of thousands of people to earn their livelihood. 

Note. — The "fuller account" above is a paraphrase of the article on 
John Kay in National Biography, and like other accounts referred to is 
qualified in many points of detail in the Memorial volume by the present 
author entitled : Memoir 0/ John Kay^ Inventor of the Fly-Shuttle. Suffice 
it here to remark that the inventor's father never had a works at Colchester, 
and died in the month of April preceding the birth of his son, the inventor, 
in July, 1704. 

The authorities at South Kensington have informed the author that the 
portrait of John Kay there, belongs to the v?idow of the late Mr. 
Bennett Woodcroft, and evidence has been found that it is an enlarged 
copy of one at the Art Gallery in Bury. 

I Ill ll|l|l|l|l I i|l|l nil I Iihlililil iT 

I iiiiiiiiii hill ii I I iiii iiiiiii Ill s: 


From the Bury Times, September nth, 1897. 

T PASS on to another family of Kays — William Kay and Com- 
■*• pany of Woolfold. This William Kay carried on for many 
years a prosperous trade. Offshoots of sons, and prominent 
men, were also helpful in carrying on the works of cotton 
spinning and manufacturing, &c., elsewhere. James Duckworth, 
one of the leading hands at Woolfold, became manager for the 
Bury and Heap Commercial Company when this company com- 
menced working at Chesham Field, Freetown. John Duckworth, 
the son of this James, was a town salesman for Grundy, Kay, and 
Co., Mosley Street, Manchester ; and this firm were selected as 
Manchester agents for the sale of yarns and cloth produced by 
the Bury and Heap Commercial Company. The Kays in this 
Manchester agency were two or three brothers, sons of the 
William Kay of Woolfold. I recall the sons of this William Kay 
in the persons of William — tall and somewhat ruddy featured — 
Robert, James, and Hilton Kay. These four sons were not all 
partners in the Manchester agency, so far as I know. James, 
the third-named, seemed to me in those days the principal in the 
firm. Associated with him, more or less actively, were Robert 
and Hilton. And if my memory is accurate, this family or 


branch of the Kays was formerly concerned in cotton spinning 
at the old mill in Heywood, near Wrigley Brook, which was, 
about the time I am writing of, in the occupation of the Mellors. 

The Grundy family above referred to were John Grundy's 
sons, of Wolstenholme Hall, Bagslate. Two sons of this John 
Grundy were connected with the firm of Grundy, Kay, and Co. 
Their father had long been connected with the firm of Rothwell 
and Grundy, Limefield. He was son of the John Grundy, of 
Silver Street, Bury, who was brother of Edmund Grundy, of the 
Wylde, and of Elizabeth, of Seedfield. This lady will be remem- 
bered as " Miss Grundy," the devoted attendant at the Presby- 
terian Chapel, Bank Street, Bury. She and her brother Edmund 
for many years were teachers, and took a life-long interest in the 
Sunday School connected with Bank Street Chapel, particularly 
during the ministry of the Rev. Franklin Howorth. The John 
Grundy first-named (born 1810) at one period resided at The 
Dales, near Stand, Whitefield. He removed thence to Wolsten- 
holme Hall as stated. " Grundy," says the author of a volume I 
have consulted, " is apparently the old Teutonic name Grund — 
whence Grundisborough, a parish in Suffolk." Wolstenholme 
(Hall) is the hall near the wolf stone, in the ancient wilds of 
Bagslate moor or common. And I may here show how in old 
deeds this is made more evident. In the days before the spelling 
reform was made general, even legal documents varied in the 
spelling of the same personal or place-names. In a very old 
surrender loaned to the present writer by the survivor of the 
elder branch of our family, I discover the origin of the word, 
and the early establishment of the old family residence ; also I 
find that the same locality gave a name to one of the families of 
bygone Bury. I will here set out the old deed, following the 
spelling, as therein given : 

" Manor of Rachdale : The Copyhold Court of the Right 
honourable William, Lord Byron, Baron Rachdale, for govern- 


ing and ordering of his Customary Lands within the Manor of 
Rachdale in the County of Lancaster holden att Rachdale afore- 
said the twenty-fourth day of December in the ninth year of the 
Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second Over Great 
Britain firance and Ireland King Defender of the ffaith and so 
forth and in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred 
and thirty-five. Before Robert Lownde Gentleman Steward of 
the said Court and adjourned to the second day of ffebruary then 
next ensueing and from thence to the fifth day of Aprill then 
next ensueing before the same Steward afores^ Att this Court 
It was found by the homase aforesaid that Joseph Wolstanholme 
Late of Bury in the County of Lancaster Sadler a Customary 
Tenant of this Manor dyed about eight weeks ago Seized of 
and in One Messuage One Barn One Garden and two Acres of 
Customary Land according to Eight yards to the Rood or Perch 
Improved from the Soil or Waste of the said Manor called 
Bagslate in Spotlahd within the said Manor and now or late in 
the possession of John Leach his assigns or undertenants with 
all ways waters and watercourses to the same belonging and that 
Joseph Wolstenholme of Bury aforesaid Draper of the age of 
fifty-three years or thereabouts is Eldest son and heir of the 
said Joseph Wolstenholme deceased and ought to be admitted 
to the said Customary Lands. And hereupon came into this 
Court the said Joseph Wolstanholme (the son) in his own proper 
person and craved to be admitted to his ffine. Upon proclama- 
tion being made thereof and that if any man could pretend or 
had any Right or Title to the aforesaid Copyhold Lands he might 
come into Court and be heard And none came to forbid Then 
seizing of the aforesaid Copyhold premises the Lord of the said 
Manor by his Steward aforesaid did grant unto the said Joseph 
Wolstanholme (the son) by a Rod according to the Custom of 
the said Manor To have and to hold to him the said Joseph 
Wolstanholme (the son) his heirs and assigns for Ever according 


to the Custome of the said Manour Yeilding 
and paying therefor to the Lord of the said 
Manour of Current English att every feast of 
Saint Giles the Abbott and all other rents reliefs 

fBne for 
Entry 4d. 

fines boons ectaments suits services and perquisites of Court 
which are or att any time hereafter shall become due and of 
right accustomed according to the Custom of the Manour afore- 
said and he giveth to the Lord for a ffine entrance thereunto to 
be had and so forth by his pledge John Bury and is admitted 
Tenant thereof and hath done his ffealty. 

A true Copy examined by 
igth April 1737. E. E. LOUNDES, Steward. 

Here we have the fact made plain that the old residence at 
Wolf-stone was reclaimed from the wild moorland of Spotland. 
Harland in his History of Lancashire, vol. i., page 512, says that 
the ancient family of Wolstenholme claimed to be of Saxon 
descent. Andrew de Wolstenholme was living here in 1180. 
Holme means house. Wolf-stone may have been a large stone 
marking the spot where a wolf had been killed. Wolstenholme 
therefore would mean the house or residence near the Wolf -stone. 
Andrew would be all the name this ancient personage would 
have had given to him, but to distinguish him from other men of 
similar name he would be described as " Andrew de Wolsten- 
holme " — ^Andrew of Wolf-stone-house. I imagine I am correct 
in my inference that the deed I have set out refers to Wolsten- 
holme Hall of modern times. The John Grundy referred to as 
residing there died on the 23rd July, 1873, aged 63 years; and 
I have an entry, probably copied from a funeral card, which 
reads thus : — " John Grundy, of Wolstenholme Hall, near Bircle, 
near Bury.'' 

In my last paper I gave some information about John Kay, 
of Park, Walmersley. His inventions of the fly-shuttle, &c., lead 


US to recall his successors in Bury. I have previously mentioned 
" Jimmy " Shepherd of Mosses, whose mother was Ellen Kay of 
" Cobbas," or Cobhouse, a daughter of Robert Kay. There is 
no question whatever about this family connection, for Miss 
Lucy Shepherd, a niece of this James Shepherd, yet residing in 
Bury, recalls her grandmother distinctly, having in her youth 
nursed her grandmother, Ellen Kay. And that she, Ellen, was 
of the " Cobbas " family, cannot be in doubt, because she always 
maintained that failing male heirs there was no doubt " all the 
brass " would come to her grandchildren. The present writer, 
being a great-grandchild, may be pardoned a slight sensation of 
regret that " the brass " went elsewhere. But " brass " is not 
always " wealth." It is useful to go an errand with, but its 
absorbing influence over the mind often leads to the stunting 
growth of the higher nature. Moralising, however, is not my 
purpose here. 

Among the bygones of Bury, in the present connection, I 
may mention, as close to the period following the invention of 
the fly-shuttle, Isaac Wood and Sons, shuttle makers. Back King 
Street, Bury. Forty-eight years ago I knew this workshop. 
The last of this old firm was a late townsman, John Wood, 
of Clay Bank. He married Rachel, the daughter of Samuel 
Wild, clerk to the Presbyterian Chapel, Bury. Sarah, the 
younger sister of Mrs. John Wood, will be recalled as having 
married William Grundy, son of Edmund Grundy, of the firm of 
John and Edmund Grundy, of The Shed, Heap Bridge. Sup- 
posing the fly-shuttle became popular about the time of the 
events recorded previously, Isaac Wood and Sons would be 
among the very earliest firms of shuttle makers in Lancashire. 
The firm was not in being in 18 18, but a few years later I find 
" Isaac Wood, temple comb maker. King Street ; " and no doubt 
as his sons grew up, this Isaac Wood would add to his business 


of temple combs the kindred one of shuttle making. However, 
in 1824-5 he was temple-comb maker only. There was in 1818 
a John Wood, woollen manufacturer and shopkeeper, Moorside, 
who is also recorded in 1824-5 contemporary with the firm of 
William Walker and Sons, Stanley Street. There was one shuttle 
maker named in an earlier paper — " Thomas Butterfield, shuttle 
maker, near Stanley Street," in 1818; who also appears again, 
in 1825-6, as of 22, Fleet Street, Bury. He would probably be 
the son of Henry Butterfield and his wife, Mary Openshaw (she 
was born in 1732), the daughter of John Openshaw and his wife, 
Elizabeth Ormerod. If I am correct in my inference, then this 
Thomas Butterfield would receive the patronage of most of the 
family connections engaged in weaving " cottons," and other 
fabrics in Bury and district. It is conceivable that Thomas 
Butterfield would have youths apprenticed to his shuttle making 
business, and that " Jimmy " Shepherd, of Mosses, and the sons 
of Isaac Wood, would be among these early pupils. It would be 
about 1760-5 when Thomas Butterfield arrived at man's estate. 
This was the era of Kay's invention. About 1800 the appren- 
tices would be also adepts at their trade. 

The interval to bridge over, from 1800 to 1818 or 1825, is 
not a long stretch for the imagination to attempt, and we find 
ourselves then with power-looms recognised as of more importance 
to the working classes of Lancashire than to be broken up, 
except to make room for improved construction. This reflection 
leads on my thoughts to such a period of smashing up ! The 
overpick-loom, at any rate for heavier fustian cloth, was found 
unsuitable, and a time came when a man of the temperament of 
John Lomax of Springfield, lost patience with the old-fashioned 
machinery. This impatience was the cause and opportunity of 
mutual gratification and the development of another large firm 
in Bury. And that was a memorable day on which the indomit- 


able John Lomax came down to the works, took out his snuff 
box for a good pinch as usual before giving expression to an 
important utterance, and said : " Go tell Robert Hall I want 
him at once." The messenger had instantly to hurry off to 
" Tuer, Hodgson, and Hall," the early firm established in Back 
King Street. Robert Hall was not slow to heed the summons. 
He probably returned more buoyant in spirit, for he took an 
order back for 400 new under-pick looms for No. 3 shed of the 
Moorside Works. I suppose it is not venturing too sanguine a 
statement if I say this was one source of the subsequent successes 
attained by the eminent firm now existing. After No. 3 came 
No. 4 shed, and so on all through the sheds, where ultimately 
about 1,400 looms of the new description were as speedily as 
possible got to work. It appeared to the youthful mind a sad 
destruction of good machinery to witness the old looms smashed 
up by sledge hammer, to be carted down and re-melted for 
moulding into new designs. But money was seen at the end of 
the conversion, I suppose. At any rate, it no doubt came. And 
our friends the shuttle makers and temple-comb makers had their 
busy time consequent upon the enterprise referred to, which 
doubtless was emulated by Charles Openshaw and Sons, Butcher 
Lane, Johnathan Openshaw of Elton, and the cotton side of the 
Pimhole Openshaws, all engaged in the heavier class of cotton 
manufactures, as distinguished from the ordinary calicoes of 
Burnley and Blackburn districts. So young readers may see 
something of how Bury, of the past, became prosperous; and 
elder readers may recall their share in the accomplishment of 
that prosperity. 

Mention should also be made of another branch of the Kay 
family which became noted, and made a name outside Bury, 
also in mechanics. William Kay, of Bolton Street, in the matter 
of throstle spinning machinery was esteemed all over Lancashire. 


Latterly this was carried on by his son, James Clarkson Kay, 
who undertook heavier work, in the way of increasing the ex- 
pansive power of steam by means of a patent arrangement of 
valves and the patent brought out by McNaught. This caused 
another firm in Bury, the Brothers Lord, boiler makers, at Barn- 
brook, to become busy and prosperous, by reason of natural 
demand for boilers of great resistance to work at higher pressure. 
And here again we find the John Lomax, before-named, deter- 
mined upon having the best boilers and engines. The boilers 
he ordered from the Barnbrook firm ; the McNaughting of the 
engines was done elsewhere, and the changes were wrought in 
due course. There was a cylinder under each end of the beam ; 
the smaller cylinder, placed next the crank because of limited 
space, took in the steam at the highest practicable pressure, and 
then exhausted into the old larger cylinder, from whence it 
found escape into the cold-water condenser. The pressure of 
the steam on the two pistons, added to the vacuum pressure of 
the atmosphere, obtained by the most efficacious air-pump and 
the coldest obtainable supply of water, secured the greatest 
possible power out of the water evaporated into steam by the 
smallest contrivable supply of coal. And this was how the trade 
of Bury became prosperous. Boilers from Barnbrook; engines 
from Butcher Lane; carding, slubbing, and other frames, and 
mules from Butcher Lane ; throstles from Bolton Street ; and 
looms from Back King Street or Heywood — yes, this was how 
the money was made in the bygone days of Bury. 

Note. — The Isaac Wood mentioned in this chapter never was put 
apprentice to the Shuttle trade. 

Mr. James Shepherd learned his trade as Shuttlemaker with the firm 
of Butterfield, relatives of the Openshaws of Pimhole. For a length of 
time he carried on the business of Machine making in Bolton Street, in 
partnership with his cousin, John Kay, of Cobhouse descent. Further 
reference will be made to him subsequently. 



From the Bury Times, June 4th, 1898. 

A WRITER IN 1818 states that there was a Charity School, 
for the education of 80 boys and 30 girls, founded by the 
late Rev. John Stanley, formerly Rector of Bufy. I assume this 
would be what, in my younger days, was commonly called " Th' 
Free School," standing at the corner of Clough Street. I sup- 
pose the funds which the Rev. John Stanley left for the founding 
of this school are used for supporting some newer institution. 
The same writer just quoted goes on to say : " A variety of alter- 
ations and improvements are now (1818) making in the streets, 
which will add very much to the convenience and general 
appearance of the town." Many improvements have been 
effected since then, and those changes that the writer in question 
refers to have served their turn, and many of them have given 
place to still more stately edifices. The same writer says : " The 
cotton manufacture, originally brought from Bolton, is here 
carried on in all its various branches to a great extent. The 
whole parish abounds with factories, every convenient situation 
upon the rivers and brooks being occupied by mills for carding 
and spinning of wool and cotton ; and also for fulling woollen 


cloth." Leland says : " Yerne sometime made about it — Byri " 
in his day. These " yernes " might be of woollen or cotton 
material. Previously to what is now understood as " cotton," 
the fabrics taken into the markets round about Bury, and to 
Manchester, were named " cottons," even when manufactured of 


As trade increased the population grew in numbers; and 
Bury people wakened up to the fact that it was desirable and 
expedient that a local government should be set up. Hitherto, 
it may be supposed, little more had sufficed than the government 
by the Vestry and Courts Leet of the Manors of Tottington and 
Bury. I recollect as representative of the keeper of the peace 
" Th' Owd Deputy," James Andrews. That the people were not 
of a very turbulent type we may infer from the fact that the first 
Petty Sessions held in Bury sat on 21st March, 1826. The first 
magistrate was William Grant, appointed 1824, died 1842. 
Samuel Holker Haslam was the next appointment, in 1829. He 
died in 1856. These persons would know most about the 
circumstances of the populations in the localities between Rams- 
bottom and Bury, either by way of Walmersley, or down the 
valley to Bury Ground. In 1833 John Fenton appeared on the 
Bench, representative of the district round by Ash worth, Crimble, 
and Heywood. And in a little while we see more assistance 
required; which was found by the appointment of Edmund 
Grundy, who would know as much as anyone of the locality 
about Heap Bridge. Seven years after this we find John Grundy 
qualifying for Justice of the Peace. Perhaps he combined super- 
vision over The Dales and Whitefield, as well as Limefield. This 
John Grundy I assume to have been co-partner in the firm of 
Rothwell and Grundy, of Limefield, or it may have been his 
father. The following year, 1842, Henry Hardman took his 
seat on the Bench ; and three years after William Hutchinson. 


On July 27th, 1846, an Act of Parliament was granted estab- 
lishing a commission, for the government of Bury. The name 
given to this authority was " The Bury Improvement Com- 
mission." I do not profess special knowledge of the early 
formation of this Commission, but I am old enough to recall my 
impressions of many of the first Commissioners elected, and have 
made an alphabetical list of all the 120 who were elected Com- 
missioners during the thirty years of the existence of this Board. 
The first election took place in 1846, and the last in 1876. Of 
those elected in 1846, Micah Barlow sat one year, William 
Barrett three years, William Bowman four years, Henry Bridge 
four years, William Bridge one year, Christopher Clemishaw 
thirteen years, John Clemishaw three years, Matthew Fletcher 
eight years, Thomas Greenhalgh, jun. four years, Edmund Hard- 
man three years, John Hoyle the elder three years, John Haslam 
one year, Thomas Horrocks eleven years, John Lomax three 
years, John Mitchell fourteen years, Thomas Openshaw five 
years, Thomas Oram two years, Oliver Ormerod Openshaw three 
years, John Openshaw seven years, Jonathan Openshaw five 
years, Lawrence Rogers Openshaw two years, Lawrence Park 
six years, James Parks twelve years, Matthew Peel twenty-five 
years, John Rothwell four years, Robert Taylor four years, and 
Richard Walker, jun. fifteen years. Here we have an exemplifi- 
cation of the old saying : " The last shall be first." Richard 
Walker, jun., was the first Chairman of the Board of Com- 
missioners, 1846-7, and again 1851-2, 1856-7, 1857-8, 1863-4, 
and 1864-5. In f^ct for ten out of the fifteen years that he sat 
as Commissioner he was deservedly the Chairman. We have 
noteworthy evidence of the great interest taken in the manage- 
ment of the town's affairs by that generation of rising capitalists 
and great employers of labour in Bury. 

I am indebted to a somewhat pretentious Bury history for the 


foregoing list of names, but have difficulty in correctly supplying 
the descriptions of some of the persons named. Probably some 
of my readers will be able to correct mistakes. I will only iden- 
tify these first Improvement Commissioners tentatively, by asking 
if it was not the case that Micah Barlow was the father of 
Thomas and John Barlow of Barlow Fold, Manchester Road, or 
was he an elder brother of Thomas and John, and all of them 
sons of "Frances Barlow, grocer, &c., Redevals;" or, "James 
Barlow, victualler and hatter. White Bear, Wilde ? " Then was 
William Barrett the William Barrett (Baines gives it Barritt), 
butcher, at one time of 17, Fleet Street? In one record the 
name is spelt Barratt, in other cases Barrett. " John Clemishaw, 
joiner and shopkeeper, Henry Street " — ^would he be identical 
with the Commissioner ? And would Christopher be his son or 
brother, and, if brother, both be sons of " David Clemishaw, 
builder, of Paradise Street ? " William Bowman, chemist and 
druggist, was well known in his day. Henry Bridge — ^was he not 
a draper? William Bridge I recall as a draper, if not his 
brother. Matthew Fletcher, I assume, was the venerable sur- 
geon, who resided previously at 59, Union Square. Thomas 
Greenhalgh, jun., would doubtless be the " Cotton Spinner, 
Chesham." In 1825 his house was in " Clark Street." Edmund 
Hardman I cannot trace, unless he was the son of William Hard- 
man, of Chamber Hall. John Haslam was presumably represent- 
ative of the firm "Haslam and Son, Hudcarr Works." In 
Thomas Horrocks I identify the person of that name who resided 
in Wike's Lane. But in 1825 and 1826 there was a Thomas 
Horrocks residing at " 14, Clerke Street." Readers will note 
the varying spelling ; one writer gives " Clark Street," another 
" Clerke Street." Probably the street was named after a former 
rector — Sir William Henry Clerke. John Lomax was our ac- 
quaintance of Springfield. In the Rent Roll of Sir John Pilking- 
ton, of Bury, tempo 1435, his name is spelt " del Lumhalghes." 


In 1 600-1 620, it was spelt " Lummas;" and it was not till 1663 
tha't it was written " Lomax." John Mitchell I can clearly 
identify. He was waste buyer for James Wrigley and Sons, 
Bridge Hall Paper Mills ; as well as head of the old firm of 
Mitchell and Co., Spindle Works, Bury. He was a man of fine 
physique, and a good public speaker. Earlier or later he was 
associated with Clitheroe. The Thomas Openshaw who sat for 
five years was, I believe, the " Mr. Thomas," of Primrose Hill, 
Pimhole. His cousin Thomas, of High Bank, was not a Com- 
missioner at any time, if my impression is correct. And the 
third Thomas Openshaw, living at this period, nephew of Thomas 
of High Bank, would be engaged under John Walker at the mill 
in Elton. Thomas Oram might be the gentleman recorded as 
of " 43, Fleet Street," in my record. He would be father of 
Henry Oram of a later period. Oliver Ormerod Openshaw is 
unquestionably our old acquaintance in these notes, of Roach 
Bank, Pimhole. Then John Openshaw, the name following — 
I can only surmise that he was of Irwell House, often described 
as " Long John,'' because of his stature. Jonathan Openshaw 
I incline to think identical with " Little Jonathan ; " but there 
was another Jonathan. Lawrence Rogers Openshaw would be 
our " famous horseman " of Brickhouse. And Lawrence Park 
I know must be the " burly-boniface " of the Old White Horse, 
who also was carrier to the East Lancashire Railway Company. 
James Parks, of 1846 Board, I put down to be James Parks, 
surgeon ; though the connection of James Park, ironfounder, 
with the Board suggests the possibility of correction. In Matthew 
Peel we have the stalwart currier of Bury Tanpits. His brother 
Henry was an ironmonger at the premises afterwards so mar- 
vellously developed by my late old friend, Joseph Downham. 
John Rothwell, I surmise, was the cotton manufacturer of Lime- 
field. Robert Taylor I am not clear about ; he may have been 


the person of that name who in 1825-6 was " cotton manu- 
facturer at Moorside." Richard Walker requires no identifica- 
tion beyond the statement that he was the eldest son of Bury's 
first Member of Parliament, and in every respect worthy to pre- 
side over the first local governing body of his native town. On 
the first Board of Commissioners were the largest ratepayers, 
the keenest business men of the town ; and in this fact was the 
assurance that the improvements would be judiciously inaugu- 
rated and economically carried forward. 

In the interval between 1846 and 1876 one generation passed 
away and another rose up, and the Commissioners who succeeded 
the aforementioned were men of considerable standing in the 
town. The system adopted in the election of the Commissioners 
was calculated to rouse the latent enthusiasm of the populace. 
Party feeling then was shown in the discrimination of Church 
and Chapel proclivities. " Exclusive dealing " sometimes was 
fostered. " Local influence " was brought to bear ; for then 
there was no voting by ballot. But even as passions were 
excited and influence exerted to secure the election of certain 
nominees, it was more the question of Church or Chapel than 
actual fitness or unfitness of the candidates. However, a survey 
of the several Boards during the thirty years existence of the Bury 
Improvement Commissioners will convince the impartial reader 
that " good men and true " were ever to be found. The names 
of the other Commissioners are appended in alphabetical order, 
with the year they first were elected, and the number of years 
they sat; also indicating, where I can do so, the religious 
distinctions : 

Alcock John (Bank Street), 1852, i year; Hudcar. 
Alcock R. H. (Bank Street), 1856, 5 years; Hudcar. 
Aitkin Thomas, 1853, 2 years. 
Ashworth Abel (Wesleyan), 1866, 4 years; Rochdale Road. 


Ashworth Adam (Wesleyan), 1867, 6 years; Pits-o'-th'-Moor. 

Barlow Edward, i860, 10 years. 

Barlow Thomas (Church), 1869, 4 years. 

Barrett James (Church), 1849, 9 years; Pimhole. 

Barrett John (Church), 1861, 3 years; (?) Pimhole. 

Battersby Robert, junr. (Church), 1847, 4 years; Parsons Lane. 

Bate Edward (Bank Street), 1855, i year; boot and shoe maker. 

Booth Geoge (Bank Street), 1861, 6 years; at Walker Brothers, 

and then pawnbroker. 
Bolton John, 1868, 5 years ; brother-in-law to William Fairbrother 
Blunt Thomas, 1872, i year; waste dealer, formerly cashier for 

James Wrigley and Sons, Bridge Hall Mills. 
Booth Lawrence, 1871, 2 years; architect. 
Clemishaw Joseph, 1850, 3 years ; druggist ; Moorside. 
Cook Samuel, 1864, 8 years ; reedmaker. 
Crossland Robert, 1866, 6 years; solicitor. 
Crompton W. R., 187 1, 2 years; papermaker. 
Davenport William (Church), 1855, 3 years; tinner. 
Duckworth John (Bank Street), 1870, 3 years; bleacher. 
Davies Thomas Clifford, 1872, i year; surgeon; Rhiwlas. 
Fletcher Thomas, i860, 8 years; (?) chemist. 
Fairbrother William, 1867, 6 years; Chairman of the Crimble 

Spinning Company. 
Grundy Samuel (Bank Street), 1852, i year; (?) Bridge Hall. 
Grundy Thomas (Bank Street), 1852, 11 years; solicitor, T. A. 

and J. G. 
Grundy William (Bank Street), 1856, i year; Seedfield. 
Grundy Edward Herbert (Bank Street), 1868, 2 years; Bridge 

Hall and Cheetham Hill. 
Harper William (Roman Catholic), 1848, 10 years; solicitor. 
Haworth George, 1849, 3 years; Plumtrees; formerly of Simp- 
son, Bland, and Haworth. 


Hoyle James (Church), 1848, 6 years; cotton spinner, Huntley 

Hoyle John (Church), 1852, 8 years; (?) John and Samuel 
Hoyle, Ferngrove. 

Holt John (Bank Street), 1850, 19 years; tailor. 

Hall Robert (Brunswick), 1850, 19 years; of Tuer, Hodgson, 
and Hall. 

Hutchinson John (Church), 1853, 3 years; Colonel of the 

Haworth Richard, 1853, 4 years; son of George above. 

Hacking Richard, i86o, 2 years ; " Dick," of Walker and Hacking. 

Hamer John, i860, 4 years; bookkeeper to Walker and Lomax. 

Hill James (Bank Street), 1864, i year; stone merchant; son-in- 
law of Thomas Hopkinson. 

Holt Thomas, i860, 9 years; druggist; Bolton Street; Chairman 
of Bury and Heap Commercial Company. 

Horrocks John (Bank Street), 1863, 3 years ; of the Albion Hotel. 

Kenyon William, 1868, i year; probably of the firm of drapers 
and undertakers. 

Kay James, 1849, 12 years; of the Blue Bell, Barnbrook. 

Kay James Clarkson (Wesleyan), 1849, 4 years; ironfounder 
and engineer. 

Kay Robert, 1868, 2 years; for a generation with Thomas, 
Alfred, and John Grundy. 

Kenyon Richard, 1857, 2 years. 

Kershaw Jacob, junr., 1858, 2 years; Pimhole. 

Livesey James, 1851, 3 years; Bank Street and Heap Bridge. 

Mitchell Thomas, i860, 5 years; brother of John, a first Com- 

Maxwell James (Wesleyan), 1871, 2 years; caddy sheet manu- 
Newbold Joseph, 1857, 10 years; The Springs. 


Nuttall John, 1863, 6 years; probably the corn dealer. 

Openshaw James, 1847, 8 years; whether of Redvales or Fern- 
hill, not sure. 

Openshaw George (St. John's), 1855, 8 years; Heywood Street. 

Oram Henry, 1858, i year; brief, but remembered. 

Openshaw Samuel, 1859, 3 years; Red Lion. 

Openshaw Thomas, i860, 12 years; of John Walker's and then 
of Brickhouse. 

Openshaw Thomas Lomax, 1854, 3 years; well-known son of 
" Little Jonathan." 

Openshaw James Alfred, 1869, 3 years; eldest son of James 
Openshaw, of Beech Hill, Pimhole. 

Ormerod Thomas, 1872, i year. 

Pilkington Joseph, 1847, i year; woollen manufacturer. 

Pilkington John, 1848, 2 years; woollen manufacturer. 

Pilkington James, 1850, i year; woollen manufacturer. 

Peel Henry, 1854, 12 years; brother to Matthew, and predecessor 
of Joseph Downham, ironmonger. 

Pickering John, 1849, 6 years; brushmaker, Bolton Street. 

Park James, 1850, 20 years; father of the Bury waterworks, I 
am inclined to think. 

Potts Edward, 1850, i year; draper, Bolton Street. 

Price Thomas, junr., 1852, 4 years. 

Price William, 1857, 2 years. 

Price, W. H., 1858, i year. 

Price Thomas Lloyd, i860, i year. 

Parker James, 1862, i year; currier, Stanley Street. 

Polding Peter Oswald, 1851, i year; veterinary surgeon. 

Peers Robert, 1867, 6 years; pawnbroker, Bolton Street. 

Parkinson John, 1854, 17 years; brassfounder. Mosses. 

Roberts Thomas, 1854, 15 years; Chesham Fields. 

Renshaw Samuel, 1861, 9 years; cotton manufacturer, Freetown. 


Rothwell Samuel, 1858, 2 years. 

Smith Daniel, 1849, 3 years; corn merchant. 

Smith Samuel (Brunswick), 1859, 8 years; woollen manufacturer, 
King Street. 

Sykes Joseph, 1868, 5 years; Freetown. 

Unwin John, 1854, 5 years; spirit merchant. 

Unsworth James, 1871, 2 years; of Goshen Farm. 

Walker John Scholes, 1855, 7 years; of the Butcher Lane firm. 

Wood Robert, 1850, 21 years, Rochdale Road; father-in-law of 
Thomas Openshaw of Brickhouse. 

Whitehead James, 1851, 3 years; tailor; brother of "gentle- 
man " Samuel Whitehead, tailor. 

Wanklyn William, jun., 1854, 6 years; cotton spinner, Elton; 
brother-in-law of Colonel O. O. Walker. 

Webb Joseph, 1856, 16 years; of the Forge, Bury Bridge. 

Wormald John, 1867, 5 years; dentist. Bank Street. 

Ward Richard, i860, 8 years; of Butcher Lane Works; built 
Bradford Terrace. 

Wike John Melling, i860, 3 years; son of George Wike, and 
eminent in music and Masonry. 

Walker Charles, 1869, 3 years; (?) son of Richard of Belle Vue. 

Young John, jun., 1853, 3 years; Savings' Bank. 

There is no pretension to originality in giving the foregoing 

names of persons who served their town in their day and gener- 
ation, but the mere enumeration will recall to many readers 

pleasant associations of " Bygone Bury." 



From the Bury Times, June nth, 1898. 

THERE are names in the foregoing chapters which suggest 
still earlier firms than those already mentioned, whose 
descendants are still found in Bury. For example, Blomley 
Bothers, 1818, fulling millers. Bridge Hall, are no doubt the same 
family of which one member formerly resided in Gierke Street ; 
Edmund Bolland, 1818, blacksmith, Heap Bridge (mentioned in 
the Openshaws of Beech Hill reminiscences) ; Edward Rothwell, 
1818, gentleman. Spout Bank; William Rothwell, 18 18, farmer, 
Spout Bank; Edmund Whitworth, 1818, farmer, Littlebridge ; 
William Wild, farmer, Gigg ; and somewhat further afield I find, 
at Crimble, John Kenyon, farmer. It may only be a coincidence 
as to name and locality that the Grimble Spinning Company, 
were, I believe, tenants of the father of the present Member of 
Parliament for Bury. In 1818 there was Charles Kenyon, 
woollen manufacturer, New Road; house, 41, Union Square. 
Would this be the founder of the present prosperous firm in 
Derby Street? Was the late James Clarkson Kay the son and 
successor of William Kay, ironfounder and nail manufacturer, 7, 
bottom of Bolton Street, in 1818 ? There was also a James Kay, 


foundryman, Moorside. Was James Davenport, woollen manu- 
facturer, 1818, Back-o'-th'-Square, or Peter Davenport, black- 
smith and wheelwright, Redivals, father of William the tinsmith 
in Water Street? The last-named married Mary Openshaw, 
daughter of John Openshaw, of Pimhole and Rosehill, Bury ; 
and I believe a daughter of this William and his wife Mary 
married Thomas Nuttall, architect. We find, in 181 8, Joseph 
Downham, joiner and cabinet maker, Tenterfield, and I surmise 
he was the father of John Downham, sharebroker ; Joseph Down- 
ham, lately deceased; and William Downham, watchmaker. 
Many old Bury people will recall William Goodlad, surgeon, of 
Bolton Street. Also the Old Eagle and Child, Silver Street, 
kept by Elizabeth Handley — in 1818 passed to her son, James 
Handley; the license being ultimately removed to the present 
Derby Hotel. Joseph Handley, son of James Handley, became 
manager of the Bury Banking Company, after William Coward. 
There was a severe crisis at this epoch in the history of that bank 
which necessitated the writing off of upwards of ;£i 00,000; and 
yet Bury was not swamped. Vicissitudes in trade and commerce 
seem to follow in cycles. You have had your wealthy Grundys, 
Ashtons, and Openshaws ; your representatives of hunting and 
other sporting proclivities. We have named Matthew and Henry 
Peel. The first of these succeeded his father, Henry Peel, who 
in 1818 was carrying on leather tanning at the Tan Pits. Matthew 
married Mary daughter of Samuel Kay, hatter. Wash Lane, and 
his wife Mary the daughter of Robert Shepherd and his wife 
Ellen Kay of Cobbas, and had a family ; and on the death of 
this wife Matthew Peel married her cousin, a daughter of Robert 
Shepherd of Silver Street, and his wife Betty Nuttall. In 1818 
there was a John Scholes, cotton manufacturer, 13, Stanley 
Street; possibly Jacob Scholes, confectioner, Moorside, was a 
kinsman of this John, but I cannot speak as to the connection 


of this family with the Walker family. There was at this period 
a Samuel Smith, machinist, Butcher Lane, and it is probable 
that Walker and Hacking took over that business. I also find 
in 1818 John Wike, who married Margaret the daughter of 
George Openshaw of Seales, woollen manufacturer, house in 
New Road (what was called Wike Lane may here be meant) ; 
he would be followed in that trade by his son George Wike, the 
present Mayor being a younger son of the latter. And there was 
at the same period Samuel Woodcock, solicitor, Henry Street ; 
and John Woodcock, surgeon. Church Yard. At a later period 
there was Samuel Woodcock, also solicitor, of Henry Street, 
succeeded by Samuel Woodcock, solicitor of to-day. In the 
order these Samuels appear I am inclined to designate them 
father, son, and nephew. The last-named I believe is a younger 
son of William Plant Woodcock, solicitor, and his wife Miss 
Yates, the square brick house at the top, of New Road and 
Pimhole Lane, now utilised as a club, being some time their 
residence. The marriages of sons and daughters of James 
Openshaw, of Lower Chesham, and his wife Martha Ann, the 
daughter of John Jackson of Bury (the said James Openshaw 
being some time fourth partner in the firm of Walkers and 
Lomax), connected three old families of Bury. Hannah, the 
eldest daughter, married John Hoyle of Mossfieldj Margaret, 
the second daughter, married Mr. S. Woodcock; James Henry 
Openshaw, as has been mentioned earlier, married Susannah, 
daughter of Joseph Newbold; while John Jackson Openshaw, 
the elder brother of this James Henry, married Emma, daughter 
of John Howard, co-founder of the great Accringtpn firm of 
Howard and Bullough, machinists. Two sons and two daughters 
of this James Openshaw and his wife Martha Ann died in infancy. 
Emma, the fifth daughter and eighth child, born 1853, married 
James Strang of the Peel, Busby, near Glasgow; and Fanny, 


the next child, married James Millership Stead, of Carr Bank, 

In Bury and neighbourhood there has been for centuries the 
family of Nuttall. Old writings give the early name " Notogh." 
" Nuttall Hall, in the Hamlet of Holcombe and Township of 
Tottington, was the seat of Richard de Notogh, born before 1368 
and living in 1397-1408; it descended to Richard de Notogh, 
living 1493-4." Ultimately this estate passed, probably by 
marriage, to the Lonsdale family ; and from that family, in 
similar manner, to the Rev. Richard Formby, about 1790. By 
him it was sold to Mr. Grant (Harland). And I find another 
record of Harland : " John, son of Nicholas Golyn, of Golynrode 
in Walmersley in the Parish of Bury, conveyed Golynrode by 
deed, dated 7th September, 1491, to Henry Notogh of Notogh; 
and the arms and crest allowed in 1664 to Thomas Nuttall, of 
Tottington, claiming to represent a collateral branch, were 
allowed by order of Chapter in 1841 to George Ormerod of 
Tyldesley and Sedbury, as heir general of Nuttall of Golynrode. 
In Ducatus Lancastrice I find mention among the Pleadings, 
I. Eliz., 1559, of Ralph Gollyn, as Heir of John Gollyn, plain- 
tiff; George Nuthough and Roger Holte, defendants. The 
cause in dispute was " A Messuage, Lands, Tenements, and 
Hereditaments, Bury." This action in the Duchy Court of 
Lancaster, in the year 1559, two generations after the convey- 
ance mentioned by Harland, would seem to be in reference to a 
small estate other than the mansion and land of Golynrode. We 
have in the two transactions the names of three generations of 
Gollyn — Nicholas Gollyn, probably of about 1400-1450; his son 
John, about 1450-1520; and Ralph, the "heir of John," 1559. 
We see the Ormerods connected with the Nuttalls. The afore- 
mentioned George Ormerod was an only child, at any rate the 
only son, of George Ormerod and his wife Anne, the daughter of 


John Hutchinson of Bury, merchant ; and this last-named George 
was brother of Ehzabeth, the wife of John Openshaw of Pimhole, 
of AHce the wife of James Openshaw of Walmersley, and of 
Rachel the wife of Robert Booth of Bury, all these daughters and 
this son George being children of Oliver Ormerod of Bury and 
his wife Alice Howarth of Chatterton Hey, Tottington. So that 
we find Ormerod, Hutchinson, Openshaw, Howarth, and Booth 
all family names of bygone Bury. To refer once more to the 
Nuttall family : Robert Shepherd, weaver, Silver Street, Bury, 
married Ann Nuttall. This Robert Shepherd was son of Robert 
Shepherd and his wife Ellen Kay of " Cobbas." The Booth 
estate was sold to James Lomax of Unsworth, one of whose 
daughters married in 1693 John Halliwell of Pike House; and 
one of John Halliwell's descendants, John Beswicke, devised it 
by will, 1772, and it was bought in 1796 by Robert Nuttall, 
Bury. Bridge Hall was in 1482 the residence of Roger Holt (a 
younger son of Holt of Grislehurst), who married Jane, daughter 
of Thomas Greenhalgh of Brandlesome, who recorded a short 
pedigree. His son, Richard Holt, married Sarah, daughter of 
Robert Bellis, M.A., and was living 1706, having a daughter and 
heir who married Nathaniel Gaskell of Manchester. Were 
these Gaskells connected with the learned William Gaskell of 
Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, whose wife was so intimate 
with the Brontes? In 1736 Robert Nuttall bought the Bridge 
Hall estate, and his descendants sold it to Edmund Grundy. The 
following copy of an entry of a marriage at Radcliffe Parish 
Church in 1656 may not be without interest to the families 
whose names are mentioned :— " Thomas Openshaw, gent, son 
of John Openshaw, late of Radcliffe, deceased, and Sarah, 
daughter of Peter Walker, of the Parish of Prestwich, yeoman, 
both aged 21 and upwards, were married at Hopwood, 1656." 
(Radcliffe Register Book). It seems to me, if we may reason 


upon the way in which families in t)ygone Bury arranged their 
love affairs, that there is a probability that the Richard Walker 
of Stone Pale Farm, Whitefield, and his sister Margaret, were 
children's children of the above marriage. This Richard Walker 
married Rachel Grundy of Baldingstone, and his sister married 
Thomas Openshaw of Stanley Street. 

Note. — In this chapter mention is made of George Ormerod of Tyldesley 
and Sedbury, as heir general of Nuttalls of Tottington. This George was the 
Historian of Cheshire. His History of Cheshire has recently been acquired 
by the Bury Corporation Library, and will be found in the Reference Depart- 
ment. Three immense volumes, in perfect condition, as new from the Press. 

The Ann referred to in the present chapter was cousin to Dr. William 
Nuttall of Manchester Road, Bury, descendant of the Mr. Frank Nuttall, who 
in the period of the firm of Peel and Yates, at Bury Ground, held a good 
position there. 

In the foregoing chapter mention is made of Mr. Samuel Kay, hatter, 
Wash Lane. It may come within the scope of these notes to point out his 
descent from the Kays who left Sheephey and purchased the Park Estate. His 
ancestry leads back through William Kay who farmed Snape Hill Farm, to 
Thomas Kay, born 1 730, who claimed to be half-cousin to the inventor of the 

The Chart published in the Memoir of John Kay, the inventor of the 
fly-shuttle, more clearly exemplifies this lineage. Samuel had a brother 
John Kay, grocer and flour dealer, who was always claimed as cousin by a 
descendant of William of Snape Hill. If so, we have the Kays of Park and- 
Kays of Cobhouse united in the above wedding of Samuel Kay and Mary 

The reference to a wedding at Radcliffe in 1656, mentioned in the last 
paragraph, lends some interest to the following note culled by the author in 
a recent visit to Knowsley Hall to examine, by permission, the old lease 
book there : — " 10th October 1688 lease for three lives to Mary Walker ; 
the lives were Richard, son, aged 50; Thomas Hand, aged 21; James 
Meadowery, aged VJ." 

"7th August 1752 lease for three lives to Richard Walker; the lives 
were Peter Walker, grandson, aged 5; Tabitha Walker, granddaughter, 
aged 8; John, son of John Barber, aged 12." 




From the Bury Times, November I2th, 1898. 

THE writer has been favoured by a lady well known to Bury 
people with permission to examine some old books of 
account and a large number of papers pertaining to the descend- 
ants of John Kay, inventor of the fly-shuttle. There may be some 
interest attaching to these long-buried and almost forgotten 
people and places. Robert Kay, inventor of the drop-box for 
looms, was the son of the afore-named John Kay. Robert Kay 
was survived by one son and two daughters. The son, Samuel 
Kay, resided at 44, Fleet Street, Bury, up to the date of his 
death, 28th December, 1830. Lucy Kay, the elder of the two 
daughters, married Thomas Oram, solicitor. Bury ; and Dorothy, 
the younger daughter, married John Barlow, of Pump House, 
Antrobus, in the county of Chester. Robert Kay carried on a 
business in Bury almost to the end of his life ; a fuller notice of 
him will be found in the Memoir of John Kay by the present 
author. Robert Kay was one of the executors and trustees 
under the will of James Fletcher, who died 21st February, 1780. 
From February 23rd, 1780, to the end of Robert Kay's life 
in 1802, he was a most painstaking trustee of the estate left by 
James Fletcher, and the accounts kept by Robert Kay afford, as 


the writer thinks, many names and places the mention of which 
will be appreciated by local antiquaries : 

May 3, 1780: Richd. Ormrod pays half-year's rent for 
Marshes estate ; James Magnall pays half-year's rent for Brook- 
bottom; Edward Fletcher pays half-year's rent for Little Mill- 
house; Ben. Buckley pays interest on a loan; John Rothwell 
pays half-year's rent for Woodroad ; Jno. Holt pays part of half- 
year's rent for Nabbs estate. 

May 16, 1780 : Oliver Holden pays half-year's rent for Hill- 
end estate. 

August 4, 1780: John Holt and James Spencer pay half- 
year's rent for Top of Royle estate. 

August 5, 1780: John Moss pays cash for interest. Upon 
this date it would seem that the testator's library was put up to 
auction, and among the purchasers were Mr. Bevan, Mr. Nan- 
greave, Mr. Walker (Oliver), and Samuel Fletcher. 

December 26, 1780 : Mr. Charles Hill pays a sum for interest. 

February 5, 1781 : Jere. Kay pays an interest account. 

February 6, 1781 : Jno. Nuttall pays a sum of money " for the 
late Robt. Kay's note." 

February 17, 1781 : Mr. Hargreav'es pays rent for orchard. 

February 19, 1781 : Jno. Fletcher pays part of loan and 
interest, and Richd. Holt pays for some books. 

February 20, 1781 : Wm. Bentley receives cash from Mr. 
Ormrod to hand to Robt. Kay, the executor, for interest. 

February 20, 1781 : Mr. Beavan buys a house and part of 
the orchard from executors. And this date John and Thos. 
Ramsbottom (Harewood Fields) pay some interest. John Kay 
pays off a portion of principal. At this time John Booth, 
Thomas Haslam, Mr. Higgin, James Heaton, John Hargreaves, 
and Mr. Brandwood pay cash for goods, books, or interest. 

May 3, 1781 : Jere. Kay pays off money owing on bond with 


September 15, 1781 : John and Richd. Holt pay rent for 

October 28, 1781 : Messrs. Taylor, Hargreaves, and Open- 
shaw pay a sum of money for interest. 

November 8, 1781 : Revd. John Smith and Jno. Nuttall pay 
off remainder due on " the late Robt. Kay of Park " bond. It 
would be interesting to know if such a co-partnership then 
existed as styled Taylor, Hargreaves, and Openshaw : and also 
to know if the Revd. Jno. Smith and Jno. Nuttall were executors 
of the Will of " the late Robt. Kay of Park." 

November 20, 1781 : Messrs. Yates, Ryder, and Bridge pay 
off their bond. We find James Haydock, J. Fitton, Wm. Howard, 
and Thomas Hardman all paying interest at this time. 

July 17, 1782: Rich. Lomax pays some interest, and the 
previous day Thomas Haslam pays a very large sum as principal 
and interest. The aforenamed continue to pay interest upon 
money lent. Presumably many if not all of them were engaged 
in some sort of trade. 

June 17, r783 : Dionisius Hargreaves pays interest. 

June 28, 1784 : Charles Holt and Jno. Spencer pay a sum of 
money in lieu of repairs wanting at Top of Royle. 

December 19, 1785 : Booth Bridge pays a dividend upon a 
small sum owing the late Mr. Fletcher by John Bridge. 

August 3r, r786 : John Butterworth pays on account of the 
late John Ramsbottom, interest. 

April 8, 1787 : Thomas Wardle pays some interest on account 
of the late John Ramsbottom. 

November 18, 1787 : Abram Wolfenden pays interest on 
account of the late John Ramsbottom. It would appear John 
Butterworth, Thomas Wardle, and Abram Wolfenden were 
executors " of the late John Ramsbottom's " Will. 

November 30, 1787 : Mr. Nangreave pays interest upon a 
pretty large loan. 



December 26, 1787 : Richd. Ramsbottom pays £4 4s. for 
a ring. 

February 16, 1788 : Samuel Kay begins to pay interest. 

November 17, 1788: Jo. Wood and Mr. Norris pay account 
to executors " by a note from Mr. Robert Peel and Co. " which 
balances their (Wood and Norris's) account. This note is 
entered on credit side as an advance to " Mr. Robt. Peel and Co." 
on their note of £150. 

April 29, 1789 : Mr. Robert Peel and Co. paid off their note 
and interest, ;£i53 7s. 5d. — showing how in those days large 
firms obtained help from trust funds. 

January 14, 1791 : Mr. Nangreave is still paying interest. 

January 17, 1791 : Messrs. Ramsbottom pay executors by a 
bill drawn on Mr. Battersby. This shows the firm at Harwood 
Fields trading with the early generation of Battersbys of Bury. 

In 1797 Mr. Milne is acting as executor of the late John 
Ramsbottom's Will. 

December 6, 1799 : Mr. Nangreave pays off his loan. 

December 20, 1800 : Messrs. Ramsbottom pay a bill drawn 
in favour of Mrs. Alice Fletcher — presumably the testator's 

September 6, i8or : Thos. Haslam pays ^3 14s. " for wood 
taken from Brookbottom." 

August 19, 1802 : ThOs. Rothwell pays £•; " for wood taken 
from Brookbottom." 

These accounts close by a balance struck on the 4th Decem- 
ber, 1802. Robert Kay died December 28, r8o2, aged 76. The 
legatees under James Fletcher's Will were Alice Hargreaves, 
Betty Hargreaves, John Ramsbottom, Olive Ramsbottom, Saml. 
Ramsbottom, Margaret Bentley, Alice Bentley, Olive Bentley, 
Hannah Holt, Alice Pilkington, Ann Lomax, Andrew Lomax, 
Alice Heaton, Peter Hamer, Betty Hargreaves, and Joseph Page. 






From the Bury Times, November 19th, 1898. 

THOSE readers interested in the particulars given of Robert 
Kay's accounts of his executorship of James Fletcher's 
Will may have their interest increased by the knowledge that 
there is a gravestone, in the Parish Church of St. Mary, Bury, 
bearing the following particulars : — " Richard Fletcher, of 
Tottington, died 28th January, 1737, in his 54th year. Catherine 
Fletcher, his wife, died 8th January, 1767, in her 82nd year. 
James Fletcher, of Bury, gentleman, died 21st February, 1780, 
aged 63 years." There seems no doubt that this is the record 
of the death of the testators for whom Robert Kay, the inventor 
of the drop-box, was one of the executors, and probably of his 
parents. Changes are continually taking place in Bury, and 
places of historical interest are swept away, without apparent 
remorse. There may be among my readers some who are 
curious to know more about the inventor's family than the bare 
item that " John Kay was born at Park, near Bury, in 1704." If 
there are any amateur photographers in Bury, interested in this 
subject, I suggest they should lose no time in taking some views 


of old premises in and around Bury. I will suggest one. Let 
them wend their way to Moorside. There, numbers i8 and 20 
will indicate the location of the old stone-built premises, once 
occupied by " Cardmaker Kay," which premises were the object 
of attack more than one hundred years ago of the blind, infatuated 
mob, against which the soldiery were called out, and posted so 
as to protect the Kays' works from utter destruction. These 
premises are three storeys high. They are flanked by very old 
brick-built houses ; and a perspective view of the whole range of 
buildings, from the round house to the crossing street into 
Badgers Fields, will form an interesting picture of a locality in 
Bury which, a century ago, was the most significantly interesting 
in the town ! Readers may fancy to themselves the operations 
going on, in the upper chambers, of card-setting, and probably 
fly-shuttle making. Some particulars about shuttles will be given 
in a future chapter. Who, in Bury, got possession of the late 
Mr. George Booth's wonderful collection of old shuttles? How- 
ever impoverished John Kay became, his son Robert appears to 
have prospered. 

Very old Bury people may recall the great changes made 
round about the Old Market Place. If you could produce a 
small map of Bury, as it was round about the Old Cross (the 
site now occupied by the statue of Sir Robert Peel), you would 
discover great changes made in Fleet Street and the Old Market 
Place. Imagine a line brought from Agur Street, straight with 
the front of the Athenaeum, Town Hall, and part of the Derby 
Hotel, and continued into Fleet Street, you would perceive that 
a space would be open, which has been thrown into the street 
from the present end of Fleet Street. Fleet Street houses and 
premises in the olden time came up to the tall lamp which lights 
the locaHty now. The present street arrangement and the Fleet 
Street end of the Derby Hotel occupy the sites of property once 


owned by John Kay's descendants. This property was included 
in a larger lease, and was purchased by the first Thomas Oram, 
attorney. Bury ; and subsequently sold by him to his father-in- 
law, Robert Kay, son of John Kay, inventor of the fly-shuttle. 
When the lease fell in to Lord Derby the new Derby Hotel 
became possible. Mr. Oram's portion was occupied by the old 
Bull's Head and other premises. I will give some details of these 
tenancies in a future paper. At present some particulars of the 
above-mentioned lease will, no doubt, interest my readers: — 
"Abstract of Indenture made 17th May the 37th George III., 
1797, between Thomas Faulkner Phillips, Manchester, county 
Lancaster, Merchant, Richard Kay of Stand, within Pilkington of 
sd Cty Merchant and Benjamin Potter of Manchester aforesdid 
Merchant Devisees in fee and Executors of the Will of Joseph 
Baron late of Manchester aforesd Merchant deed of the One 
part and Thomas Oram of Bury in the sd Co. of the other part. 
Whereas by an Indenture of Lease 1782 made or mentioned to 
be made by Edward Earl of Derby on the One pt and said 
Joseph Baron of the other part for the consideration therein 
mentioned the sd Earl granted the Messuage or Dwelling house 
and Hereditaments hereinafter mentioned and intended to be 
hereby granted to hold to the said Joseph Baron for the lives of 
William Walter Baron then aged 5 % years of Mary Baron then 
aged 8 years and of Elizabeth then aged 6 years son and 
daughters of the said Joseph Baron. 

"Whereas the said Joseph Baron ob. i Nov. 1787 having 
made and published his last Will, dated 30 Octr. 1787 wherein 
he devised all Freehold and Leasehold to his brother-in-law 
said Josh. Faulkner Phillips and his friends Richard Kay and 
Benjamin Potter Upon Trust. Whereas said Thomas Oram did 
30 April 1 791 Contract and agree with said Executors for the 
absolute purchase of said Messuage to be mentioned for jQ^^Z- 


All that Messuage and Tenement Part R. No. 325 consisting of 
an house situate in the Market Place in Bury aforesaid con- 
taining to the front thereof (exclusive of the Gateway thereunto 
adjoining) fifteen yards and running in depth backwards from 
the said front eighteen yards with the Backyard buildings and 
Stables therein and the Garden containing about (o. o. 6.) of 
Land or ground of eight yards to the Rod or pole be the same 
more or less which said Messuage, Garden, and Premises are part 
and parcel of the same Messuage Dwelling-houses and Heredita- 
ments mentioned to have been devised and granted in and by the 
Indenture of Lease hereinbefore recited and are now in the 
tenure and occupation of the said Thomas Oram and his assigns 
as undertenants with all Houses, Outhouses, Edifices Buildings 
Barns Stables Yards Orchards Gardens Ways Waters Water- 
courses Liberties Easements Profits Preveleges Advantages 
Hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever to have and to 
hold for the three lives aforesaid. Paying sd Earl of Derby 
Yearly Rent j£i." The aforesaid Trustees empowered and 
ordained David Spencer of Bury Shopkeeper and John Salt of 
Manchester Gentleman their true and lawful attornies to enter in 
possession of said premises and having obtained quiet possession 
to deliver the same to him Thomas Oram. Across the deed are 
signatures and seals of Thomas Falkner Phillips, Richard Kay, 
Benjamin Potter, and Thomas Oram ; witnesses to signatures of 
Thomas Oram and Thomas Falkner Phillips, Samuel Kay and 
Charles Wood ; witnesses to signature of Benjamin Potter and the 
receipt of £4^3, John Kay, attorney, Manchester, and Samuel 
Kay; peaceable possession given 1797, David Spencer; in the 
presence of Robert Kay. Besides this deed, the present writer 
has further perused an abstract of the same deed, passing the 
same property to Robert Kay, from Thomas Oram, for ;£40o. 
This latter document is endorsed in the same handwriting as the 


body of the abstract : " Draft of Assignment of Bulls Head Inn 
from Thomas Oram to Robert Kay." Some account of subse- 
quent occupier will be given in another chapter, with extract 
from Robert Kay's private cash book and ledger. 

Note. — The lady referred to in the opening paragraph of this chapter is 
Mrs. Samuel Oram, who has kindly donated to Bury Free Library the Bible 
which belonged first to John Holt, and ultimately to John Kay, the inventor 
of the fly-shuttle, whose wife was Anne daughter of this John Holt. Mrs. 
Oram's gift also includes the Ledger of Robert Kay, and his Cash Book and 
two very interesting historical papers. 



From the Bury Times, November 26th, 1898. 

THE Kay property, referred to in my last paper, was up to 
the year 1848 held in trust from year to year, commencing 
at the death of Robert Kay, inventor of the drop-box, in 1802, 
to the death of his son-in-law, John Barlow, of Antrobus, county 
of Chester, in 1848. The management of this property in the 
old Market Place seems to have been in the hands of Samuel 
Kay, the son of Robert Kay. Samuel Kay died in the year 1830, 
having appointed his " nephew, Thomas Oram, and John White- 
head, of Elton, bleacher, trustees and executors of this my last 
will and testament." 

By the kindness of Mrs. Samuel Oram, late of Beech Hill, in 
Bury, I am able to give a detailed description of the Old Market 
Place property. It will be well to mention here that Robert Kay 
was survived by three children, namely, Lucy, the wife of Thomas 
Oram, attorney-at-law ; Samuel Kay, whose Will I am now- 
referring to ; and Dorothy, the wife of John Barlow above-named. 
Samuel Kay's Will was signed and sealed 4th March, 1830. He 
died on the 12th March, aged 66, and probate was granted at 


Chester, loth September, 1830. At the time of his death he 
resided in his " own house ; " which, from a sewer rate demand 
note (fuller in detail than was then customary), I am able to fix 
at the then number, 44, Fleet Street, Bury. 

His Will recites as follows : — " I give devise and bequeath all 
that my third part or share of and in all those two messuages or 
dwelling-houses braziers shop hereditaments and premises in the 
Market Place within Bury aforesaid in the respective possessions 
of William Parkinson John Kay and Thomas Kay and also all 
that my third part or share of and in all that the messuage or 
dwelling-house and premises now in my own possession unto my 
said sister Lucy Oram for and during the term of her natural 
life." Here we have names and places as existing in 1830. We 
see that the property referred to had most probably been the 
subject of bequest by Robert Kay in 1802 ; and it is a reasonable 
inference that Robert Kay added to his property in Fleet Street 
a third house after the purchase he effected for ;£4oo mentioned 
in my previous chapter. John Barlow, the husband of Robert 
Kay's daughter Dorothy, died in 1848, having made a Will, of 
which Thomas Oram, one of the executors of Samuel Kay's Will 
was one of the trustees and executors. 

The books of account which I have been allowed to examine 
close about this period, so far as of interest in this series. The 
tenants in 1848 were Miss Parkinson, Mr. Bromilow, and Mr. 
Richard Barlow. According to the indenture mentioned in my 
last chapter, the two messuages named first in Samuel Kay's Will 
came into possession of Thomas Oram, attorney-at-law, in 1791. 
In Robert Kay's private ledger, under date March 25th, 1797, I 
find an entry to credit of Thomas Oram " By a house ;£4oo-" 
Lucy, the daughter of Robert Kay, was married to Thomas Oram 
on or about October ist, 1789, as is evident from an entry in 
Robert Kay's private ledger to Mr. Oram's credit. This entry 


says (on Cr. side), " Oct. i, 1789, By Cash given with daughter 
Lucy, £s°-" In ^792 Thomas Oram resided at " Ridivales near 
Bury." Samuel Kay kept his accounts in a long parchment- 
bound book. Some entries are of interest : " 1803, February 16, 
Pd. Mr. Unsworth for probate of father's Will, £\x us. od." 
" 1803, March 30, Paid Lord's rent for my house £,0 los. od. ; 
For Tavern £t os. od." These entries prove that the purchase 
which was the subject of the indenture already referred to, and 
the rent of which was £1, was added to by a subsequent pur- 
chase, the rent of which was los. " 1807, May 9, Paid Lord's 
rent of my house £0 los. od. ; For Bull's Head £j." Among 
the hundreds of entries perused, I have selected only a few. 
There is a statement of account between " Sister Lucy Oram, 
Dr., to Saml. Kay," commencing 28th April, 1805, and closing 
July 3rd, 1815. Towards the total sum due on account is 
entered thus : " Reed, of Sister Oram in rent, household furniture, 
and silver tankard ; " followed by the " Balance due to Saml. 
Kay. Witness, Thomas Fletcher, July 3rd, 1815, settled." The 
special interest attaching to this entry is that this Thomas 
Fletcher, a reedmaker, was father of the well-known Dr. Matthew 
Fletcher. " 1808, April 19, Reed, from Wm. Parkinson for rent, 
£iq I OS." " 1808, October 4, Paid Henry Whitehead window 
tax 4s. Landlord's duty on my house £t. 3s. Do. on Parkin- 
son's £^. Do. on Jardine's £2 4s." I have met with no entries 
clearly showing Jardine's tenancy, which appears rented at 
£1% 15s. for half-year. George Moscrop, Joseph Handley, and 
William Parkinson are found paying rent regularly up to about 
the year 1840. In that year we have James Handley, Robert 
Parkinson, and George Moscrop; in 1841 Robert Parkinson, 
G. Moscrop, and Richard Barlow ; in 1845 we find Miss Parkin- 
son, Mr. Bromilow, and Richard Barlow; and the last three 
names continue to 1848, when these accounts close, consequent 


on the death of John Barlow, of Antrobus, whose wife, as before 
stated, was Dorothy, the eldest daughter of Robert Kay, the 
inventor of the drop-box. The final division of the estates of 
Robert Kay, ob. 1802; Samuel, his son, 1830; John Barlow, 
above named, 1848; and Lucy Oram, the daughter of Robert 
Kay, took place on the death of the said Lucy Oram in 1856. 
The participants were the Winder family of Preston ; the White- 
head family of Elton ; four of the first-named family and five of 
the latter, and Thomas Oram. The Joseph Baron mentioned in 
the indenture given in my last chapter may have been the 
husband of Mary Kay, sister of Richard Kay of Baldingstone. 
One of the trustees of the old chapel at Stand (1713-1736) was a 
Peter Baron, who " lived at Redivales near Bury." He appears 
to have been a man of some position in the neighbourhood ; but 
I know no details of his life. One of his daughters married the 
Rev. Thomas Braddock, first minister of the congregation now 
meeting in Bank Street Chapel, Bury. (Rev. R. T. Herford's 
History of Stand Chapel). 

Robert Kay of the Park near Bury, father of the inventor of 
the fly-shuttle, had a brother who probably was born at the Park, 
and who on reaching man's estate, went to Pike Farm. But 
whether so or not, Thomas Kay, born 1730, of the Pike Farm, 
claimed to be half-cousin to John Kay the inventor — Thomas's 
grandfather being brother to the inventor's father, if the claim 
was well founded. Thomas Kay, born .1730, had a son John, 
born 1760, who had the Pike Farm after his father. He had 
also a son, Thomas Kay, born 1758, who on reaching man's 
estate, went to farm the Knowe, in Tottihgton. Of twenty-one 
children born to him, mention may be made of Thomas, who 
succeeded his father at the Knowe, and, marrying a Miss Heap, 
had with other children a son, James Kay, who married Mary 
Hoyle, having with others a son, Thomas Kay, born 1843, now 


living in Bury, the father of an only son, John. This information 
is derived from statements made by James Kay (born 1804), son 
of John Kay, already referred to as born in 1760. James Kay 
here named died about twelve years ago, aged 82. In narrating 
these old traditions my correspondent says : " I will commence 
with a man that my grandfather said was half-cousin to the 
inventor, and lived at Pike Farm — Thomas Kay, born about 
1730." This correspondent resides in Ramsbottom. We are 
thus able to trace back six or seven generations till we come in 
line with John Kay the inventor. One of my aims is to prove 
unfounded the claim of Thomas Sutcliff e to derive descent from 
a Yorkshire family. We find members of the Walmersley family 
tenanting Park, Lower Park, Park Wood, The Pike, The Hough 
(or " Hoof "), Top-o'-th'-Hill, and Cheswell Farms, between 1 700 
and the present year. In my next chapter I will give the last 
transactions in shuttles which were recorded by the Kays. There 
are very few entries made after the death of Robert Kay in 1802. 
But the few recorded will be of interest from several points of 
view. In addition to the shuttle transactions, I shall be able to 
give a few particulars indicating the position in life of Robert 
Kay. I believe, furthermore, that I shall be in a position to 
state, on good evidence, that the Park Kays, the " Cobbas " 
Kays, and the Chesham Kays are all of one stock, which included 
the Widdell, the Cheesden, and many other branches. 

Note.— See Notes to Chapter VII. ante. 

The family relationship of the Thomas Kay named in this chapter is 
not impugned, as it is well established that there were two brothers of the 
inventor's father, all the three brothers being the "lives" included in the 
lease granted to their father of Shipperbottom Closes in 1694 by the Right 
Hon. the Earl of Derby. This point in the family history has been found 
qualified by facts disclosed in the Memoir of John Kay. 



From the Bury Times, December 24th, 1898. 

IT has been shown in preceding chapters that Robert Kay, 
joint inventor with his father, was in very prosperous cir- 
cumstances. He died on the 28th December, 1802. We have 
seen that Lucy, the youngest of the two daughters who survived 
him, had, in October, 1789, been married to Thomas Oram, 
attorney, of Bury. Dorothy, the elder daughter, has been men- 
tioned as having been married to John Barlow of Antrobus, 
county Chester, yeoman. The author has been favoured by 
the sexton of the Parish Church of Rostherne, near Knutsford, 
with a copy of gravestone records relating to burials of the 
Barlow family, which enable us to fix the year of birth of 
Dorothy Kay. " Dorothy, the wife of John Barlow, of Antrobus, 
died January 5th, 1834, aged 75 years;" therefore she must 
have been born about the year 1759. In her father's ledger an 
account appears, recording transactions between himself and 
John Barlow, commencing with the entry, "March 7th, 1798, 
To Cash paid for Flocks ;£2 los. ;" followed by an entry 
June ist, "Cash jQi'j 10s.'' Upon the credit side we find — 


" 1798, June ist, By Cash given with daughter Dorothy, £^20" 
which is added to on the 4th September, 6th November, and 13th 
December of the same year, by payments making up the total 
" given with Dorothy,'' to ;£so. Thus Dorothy was dowered 
with a Hke sum to her sister Lucy. Two sons were born of this 
marriage — William Barlow, born 28th November, 1799, died 9th 
July, 1810, aged 12 years; and Robert Kay Barlow, born 29th 
September, 1802 (namesake of his grandfather Kay), died 27th 
July, 1847, aged 44 years. From these records we are able to 
fix the ages of Robert Kay's children in the order of their birth — 
Dorothy's birth year, 1759; Samuel's 1764; and Lucy's 1770. 
Lucy was married about the age of 19; Dorothy about the age 
of 39. Dorothy seems to have remained under the parental roof 
from her mother's death in 1792, for a period of six years. Her 
father survived his wife about nine years, she having died at the 
end of January, 1792, and he on the 28th December, 1802. 

The first transaction recorded in shuttles recorded by Samuel 
Kay, after his father's death, was on 30th March, 1803 : — " Sent 
to James Feltcher, Rochdale, i doz. of wheel shuttles at £2 14s." 
Probably these, at 4s. 6d. each, would be large shuttles for 
woollen looms. " December i, 1803, sold George Dickenson, 
Scoling, near Kendal, 2 wheeled shuttles turned up, at 4s. 6d. ; 
2 Dd. D.B. at 4s. 6d. ; 8 Do. Single Heads at 4s. ; £2 los. 
Sent by Richard Taylor, Butter Dealer, Westmorland." " Feb- 
ruary 2, 1804, sold George Dickenson, Scobugh, near Kendal, 24 
wheel shuttles at 4s., £,^ i6s. Sent them by Richard Taylor to 
be left at John Scott's warehouse, Kendal, Westmorland." 
April 5 and May 2, same year, sold same man 24 doz. each date, 
at 4s. 6d. May 17 same buyer 24 doz. without springs at 4s. 4d., 
and June 15 to same person 48 wheel shuttles at 3s. lod. each. 
January 7, 1805, Thomas Wood, brazier, Bolton, is a buyer ; and 
August 4th also. September 13, 1806, Messrs. Aspenall and 


Co., Little Bolton, 34 wheel shuttles turn ups, at 4s. 3d., 
;£7 4s. 6d. August 24, September 7 and 15, 1807, same firm. 
September 25, 1807, William Booth, Holcom Brook, buys 
12 wheel shuttles. March 29th, 1809, William Machin, 6 
shuttles at is. lod.. No. 12, Nicholas Croft, near Zion Temple, 
Manchester. April 2, 1810, Messrs. Nailor Aspenall and Co., 
Little Bolton, 12 wheel shuttles, loose tongs, 3s. 4d., £,2. 
August 10, 1812, sold Joseph Hanson (Bury), i wheel shuttle, 
ordered by James Butterworth on town account, 4s. May 11, 
1813, sold James Haslam on town's account 3 wheel shuttles, 
IIS. 3d. November 18, 1813, to January 3, 1814 inclusive, six 
sales are entered to Messrs. Nailer and Co. January 12, 1814, 
sold Richard Greenhalgh (Bury) 2 wheel shuttles for William 
Eccles, 7s. 6d. Turner's, September 18, 1813, 7s. January 31, 
sold Richard Greenhalgh 2 wheel shuttles for James Brindle, 
7s. 6d. April 26, May 3 and 5 are sales to Richard Greenhalgh 
for use by Robert Colling, John Rostern, and John Kirkman 
respectively, i pair each, 7s. The last-named pair ordered by 
note as follows : — " Mr. Kay, — Please to let the bearer Jno. 
Kirkman have two shuttles, and place them to my account. — 
Yours, &c., Richard Greenhalgh, Bury, May 5th-." On the 13th 
October ensuing there is an entry, : " Paid Richd. Greenhalgh 
for the piece of muslin £;i 19s." " March 8, 1815, Rich. Green- 
halgh I w. shuttle for Jon. Wark, 3s. 6d." So ends the business 
of Samuel Kay's shuttle-making, according to his account book. 
In 181 6 we find in the Commercial Directory, printed by 
Wardle and Pratt, and published by them and James Pigot, of 
Manchester—" T. Butterfield, Shuttle Maker, Fleet Street, Bury." 
In all probability this person succeeded the Kays in their business 
of shuttle-makers. A few years later we find " James Butterfield, 
linen draper, and shoe warehouse, Fleet Street," and " Thomas 
Butterfield, Shuttle Maker, near Stanley Street," which place may 



really mean the same as stated " Fleet Street " earlier on ; for 
in 1825 another Directory gives " Thomas Butterfield, Shuttle 
Maker, Fleet Street." With Thomas Butterfield (who doubtless 
was the son of Henry Butterfield, the husband of Mary, daughter 
of John Openshaw of Pimhole and his wife EHzabeth, daughter 
of Oliver Ormerod of Bury) there was as an apprentice James 
Shepherd, who subsequently had a shuttle business in the Mosses, 
Bury, as well as a machine business in partnership with John 
Kay, in the Market Place, Bury. The members of this firm, Kay 
and Shepherd, were cousins, descendants of the " Cobbas " 
family. James Shepherd's mother was Ellen Kay of Cobbas ; and 
John Kay, his partner, was son of Ellen's brother Robert. The 
machine business was not a success ; and James Shepherd settled 
down to his own particular trade, acquired under Thomas Butter- 
field, as shuttle maker. James Shepherd's descendants are the 
present business firm of tailors, Mr. Crawshaw of Bury, whose 
mother, Mrs. Ellen Crawshaw, over eighty years of age, still 
survives. About the period we refer to, when the shuttle business 
in the Mosses was prospering, there was in Bury a temple-comb 
maker, Isaac Wood, who fraternised a good deal with " Jimmy " 
Shepherd, and by constant association with him acquired a 
thorough knowledge of shuttle making. Isaac furnished himself 
with requisite tools, and added the manufacture of shuttles to his 
own trade of temple-comb making. Having thus facilities for 
both businesses, he naturally sought for trade wherever he could. 
An anecdote is related of his interview with Mr. Thomas 
Openshaw of Pimhole, the son of " George Openshaw of Seales," 
who would be cousin to Thomas Butterfield, and was the active 
partner in the woollen trade of John Openshaw, Son, and Co. 
Isaac Wood, in his own interest, solicited orders for shuttles at 
prices considerably below " Jimmy " Shepherd's. Thomas Open- 
shaw listened to all that Isaac could urge in favour of his own 


shuttles, and then quietly closed the matter by saying : " No, 
Isaac, not while Jimmy lives." James Shepherd died August 
31st, 1849, at the age of 60 ; after which came Isaac's chance. 

Robert Kay's position in life was one of opulence as wealth 
was then counted. His private ledger records many transactions 
which show that he was able to lend money out to rising firms 
in Bury. In his ledger were found several loose slips of paper, 
containing particulars of his investments and property. One of 
these slips contained the following: — "1798, May 19, money 
owing me : Messrs. Kay, Baslane, principal and interest, £,2i°1 
los. ; Thomas Fletcher, ;^299 ; Cousin John Kay, £26^ ; Thos. 
Thornley, £,^1. 5s.; Turnpike, £,So ; Charles Hill, ;^i98 los. ; 
R. Battersby, jQ^2o •, Wm. Gee, -Q20 — ;^i,6ii 5s. Tavern 
(Bull's Head), ^£400; my house, jQ^oo — _;£2,3ii 5s." These 
investments underwent some changes. A slip dated 1802, the 
end of which year saw the close of Robert Kay's life, contains 
the 'following items under the heading " Money owing me : "■ — 
" Cousin J. Kay, principal and interest, abt ;Q2?i'] 5s. ; Mr. 
Thornley, £,$0; Turnpike, jQ<,2 los. ; Charles Hill, ;^i3o; 
Battersby, &c., jQs^°'> Wm. Gee, ;£20j J. Barlow (his son-in- 
law), £,T,is ; George Howarth, ;^3oo — £,'ifiTA ^SS- ; tavern and 
house, £/}oo — ^;£2,374 15s." His ledger contains a few items of 
historical interest. He enters in Thomas Oram's account. May 
28th, 1797, credit for " Brookbottoms last Mich, rent £,!?> los." 
In September, same year, Robert Kay paid Mr. Thremble an 
account for brandy 5s., wine and bottle 3s. 3d. Loans were 
made to the undermentioned persons and firms : — Thomas Kent, 
Manchester, £,100. Messrs. James Kay, senr., and Richard Kay, 
Baslane, 1786, £100, and interest regularly paid for twelve 
years, when, in November, 1798, the principal was paid back. 
Robert Kay, Brookshaw, borrowed December i, 1784, ;£ioo, 
and paid interest yearly, and repaid loan i6th May, 1793. May 


30, 1787, Messrs. Law Ormerod, Esq. and Law Shaw, are 
borrowers of ;£iio ; which was paid back, with interest, on Sep- 
tember 9, 1789. On the 1st February, 1786, Robert Kay lent 
Thomas Fletcher on " mortgage of sundry property," j£s5° > 
this was repaid, with interest, on 14th September, 1798. John 
Kay, Redivals, borrowed on the loth July, 1788, ;£so; repaying 
principal and interest 13th July, 1789. On the ist of March, 
1788, an account was opened, headed "'Messrs. Robt. Jno. and 
Jno. Kay junior,'' who borrowed ;£ioo. Interest was regularly 
paid up to March 23, 1793, when it seems that John Kay junior 
took over the business ; for the names " Robt. Jno. & " are ruled 
through, leaving the heading " Jno. Kay, junr." In May i6th, 
1793, a line in the account reads " To Cash, John Kay jun., as 
per Note, £100." Again, November 20, same year, ;^9o 6s., 
and February 3, 1794, a sum of ;£g 14s.; making three loans 
amounting to ;£3oo. But on nth July, 1794, a sum of ;£4o 
being repaid, the loans became altogether, £260. On the ist of 
March, 1795, an entry appears : — " N.B. Note renewed by John 
Kay, late of Park." Thus was the account carried forward to 
July nth, 1797, when it needs must be continued upon a new 
page in the ledger. The heading of this new page reads " Cousin 
John Kay, jun." This account then continues till nth July, 
1802, when it was closed, and new notes given for a fresh account 
headed " Mr. John Kay, Park," which was finally closed on 
February 9, 1802, by the payment of principal and interest due, 
in a bill for ;^29i 4s. 4d., payable two months after date. The 
inventor, Robert Kay, was executor and trustee of James 
Fletcher's will, as mentioned in a previous chapter. An entry, 
under date November 8, 1781, appears : — " Received from Rev. 
John Smith and Jno. Nuttall remainder due on late Robt. Kay's 
of Park Bond £40;" from which it would seem that Robert 
Kay, of Park, had been some time dead. Hence, the account 


opened with " Robert Jno. and Jno. Kay, jun." March ist, 1788, 
was with a Robert subsequent (perhaps son of " late Robert, of 
Park.") Robert, Kay, whose executors (Rev. John Smith and 
John Nuttall) paid off the bond, had been a borrower from 
James Fletcher; to whom the trustee, Robert Kay, may have 
been nephew. Or the debtor to James Fletcher's estate may 
have been grandfather to the executor of same, i.e., Robert Kay. 
I have given these details in order to show relationship 
between the debtors and Robert Kay. It seems to me that 
Robert Kay, the father of John the inventor, had sons John and 
Robert ; John, being the inventor, and his brother, Robert, con- 
tinuing to carry on their father's business, had a son John, whose 
son, John, would be " Junr." {vide cash account of James 
Fletcher's estate). This seems most probable ; for the reason 
that John Kay (born 1704) had a son John, who married Eliz- 
abeth, the daughter of Myles Lonsdall ; and, also, the son Robert, 
whose ledger is now under examination. John Kay the husband 
of Elizabeth Lonsdall, would be " Junior " to his father ; and 
Robert Kay's " Cousin John Kay," was the son of " John Kay, 
late of Park,'' which last-named may have removed from Park 
about 1795, as above mentioned. On January 29th, 1802 (the 
year in which Robert Kay the inventor died), he lent Robert Kay 
of Brookshaw a second loan of ;^i40 on which the interest was 
regularly paid, and principal repaid 31st January, 1809. 

Note. — The author having been able to procure correct data as to the 
relationship of Robert Kay, the executor to his " cousin John Kay," has set 
the facts out in full in the Memoir of John Kay, the inventor of the fly- 
shuttle. But, leaving the above article to stand as first penned, it is the 
author's wish to explain the riddle to readers of " Bygone Bury," who may 
not have access to the Memoir named. 

The following is the true lineage deduced from the Wills which have 
disposed of the Park estate from its earliest possession by this family, to its 
disposal by sale to the Grant brothers. 


In 1694 Robert Kay, son of Robert Kay of Sheep-hey, purchased the 
Park estate, having sons Robert, of whom presently; John, then aged 40; 
Richard, then aged 35. 

Robert Kay the eldest son, born about 1652, had Park estate, and dying 
in 1704, left four sons in their minority,, and a posthumous son was born — 
the inventor of the fly-shuttle. These five sons were named in the Will. 
Robert, born 1693, ofwhom presently; Ephraim, born 1697; Richard; William; 
and John, the inventor, born 1704, who marrying Annie Holte, had with eleven 
other children, Robert, the eldest son, who invented the drop box, and who 
was executor to James Fletcher's Will, referred to in this chapter. 

Robert Kay, born 1690, had Park estate, and he had issue by Ann his 
wife, as per his Will, dated 14th March, 1777, proved 15th May, 1780, four 
daughters and one son ; Ellen, wife of John Nuttall, Top o' th' Lee ; Betty, 
wife of John Taylor ; Rachel, wife of James Haworth ; Alice, wife of John 
Kay ; and Robert, who was heir to Park Estate and sole executor. 

Robert Kay last named, made his Will on 20th May, 1780, which was 
proved at Chester 1 8th September, 1780, in which he mentions one daughter 
the eldest child, and three sons. Of the sons Robert was the eldest, of whom 
presently; John was the second son; and Richard was the third and last. Each 
of these sons were left estates. 

Robert Kay, the eldest son, had Park estate, and went to reside in Red- 
vales. His Will is dated 24th March, 1788, and in it he bequeaths Park 
Estate to his brothers John and Richard in equal shares, John to have the 
first offer of purchase, paying Richard the moiety due to him on valuation. 

The Park estate was thus left in Trust, with the first right of purchase 
to John, and it seems that neither brother would agree to buy from the other. 
Richard sold his share and interest to John Lonsdale of Haslingden, and duly 
conveyed the same to him in fee simple by indenture of lease and re-lease 
bearing date respectively the 8th and 9th of October, 1792. Now John bought 
this from John Lonsdale's eldest son by the aid of a certain person named in 
the deed ; and, having married Molly the daughter of Robert Kay of Baslane 
and his wife Richmal, the daughter of Thomas Kay of Chesham, and dying 
in 1806, did by his last Will and Testament, and by a Codicil of the said Will 
bearing date 29th day of July, 1806, appoint his wife Molly and their two sons 
John Kay and Thomas Kay, executors— gave, devised, and bequeathed the 
same unto his said wife and children, share and share alike, as tenants in 
common and not as joint tenants, to be transferred and transferable as they 


should attain the age of 21 years. Their surviving children were John Kay, 
Thomas Kay the grocer, Elizabeth Kay, Mary Ann Kay, and Richard Kay, 
all of whom had attained the age of 21 years. 

Ultimately the estate of Park was sold as by deed dated 31st March, 
1827, to William Grant and Brothers ; parties to that deed being Molly Kay 
of Bury, widow ; Thomas Kay and John Kay of the same place, grocers ; 
Elizabeth Kay and Mary Ann Kay also of Bury, spinsters ; and Richard Kay 
of the same place, grocer [in Union Street]. 

This is the whole story of the entrance upon and departure from the Park 
estate of this branch of the Kay family. The present-day representatives of 
this family are two sons of Richard Kay last named and their children ; amongst 
the latter only one male descendant — John Kay. The cousinship is indicated 



From the Bury Kmes, January 2rst, 1899. 

THERE is one source of information not readily accessible 
to the general reader from which I may cull a few items of 
interest — The Exchequer Lay Subsidy, 1332 : Wapintachiu de 
Salfordir, showing the inhabitants able to aid the Government. 
Salford, in 1332, had ten such persons and the total of their 
contributions was xxijs., Blakerode had six who made up ixs., 
Radecliue had seven who contributed xiiis. iiijd., Oldom had 
eight subscribing xvjs. iiijd., Bury had eleven who contributed 
xls., Middelton had nine who contributed xls., Pilkington had 
nine who contributed xxiiis. iijd.-, Totynton had five who con- 
tributed xiiijs. The four places last named, especially Bury and 
Middleton, come out very good, showing that there were some 
well-to-do families then about Bury. As we are more interested 
in Bury names and places, I will give full particulars of Bury : 
Margia de Radcliue vijs., Johe de ffenton iijs., Thom de Werber- 
ton ijs. iiijd., Willo Kay iijs. iiijd., Rico de Notehogh ijs., Ad fil 
Robti vijs., Johe fil Mathi vijs., Rog de Walmeslegh ijs., Willo 
de Bury ijs. iiijd., Johe de Routesthorn ijs., Willo le Mordmer ijs. 
Modernised these names are: — Margerie of Radcliffe, John of 
Fenton, Thomas of Warburton, William Kay, Richard of Nuttall, 


Adam son of Robert, John son of Matthew, Roger of Walmersley, 
WilHam of Bury, John of Rostron, and WilHam the Mortimer. 
In this list of contributors we find William Kay, who in 1332 was 
assessed to the Exchequer at the yearly sum of iijs. iiijd. (3s. 4d.) 
This is evidence of considerable wealth. It is to be remembered 
that the country, extending north from Manchester to Pendle Hill 
was probably one great forest, with only residential property 
here and there, the seats of the proprietors or larger vassals, 
under the great tenants of the Duchy. The writer's present 
purpose is to follow the fortunes of the Kay families. In 1332 
William Kay is the only resident of rank of that name about 
Bury. Three generations after the period named the royal 
forests of Rossendale were deforested by Royal Warrant. Before 
this came to pass families had already possessed themselves of 
clearings in and around the forests, which extended to, and in- 
cluded, " Totynton," and no doubt approached Bury in the 
easterly direction. In 1538 Parish Registers were, by royal 
injunction, ordered to be kept by all parochial clergy. There 
were no Nonconformists' chapels in those early times. All 
christenings, burials, and weddings were to be recorded in a 
parish book, kept by the clergy of the several parishes. The 
register kept by the clergyman of the parish of Bury com- 
menced with the year 1590. A transcript of the registers of the 
Parish Church of Bury, published by the Lancashire Parish 
Register Society, and printed by permission of the Rev. Foster 
Grey Blackburne, Rector of Bury and Hon. Canon of Man- 
chester, has just been issued to the members of the society. I 
observe with regret the poor interest taken in this subject by 
people in and around Bury. The list of members of the society 
includes Heywood Free Library, Bolton Free Library, Man- 
chester Free Library, Atkinson Free Library, Southport, Barrow 
Free Library, Birkenhead Free Library, Boston Free Library, 


Chetham's Library, Manchester, Leeds Free Library, Liverpool 
Free Public Libraries, New England Historic Genealogical 
Society, Boston, U.S.A., New York State Library, Oldham Free 
Library, Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pa., 
U.S.A., Rochdale Free Public Library, St. Helens Free Library, 
Wigan Free Library. But the Bury Athenasum and the Bury 
Co-operative Society are both conspicuous by their absence from 
the list of membership. These omissions are certainly very 
remarkable, to say the least. 

I will pass from this point to refer to some interesting glean- 
ings I have made from the first volume of the Lancashire Parish 
Register Society. The Bury registers open 5th October, 1590. 
The christenings are first, burials next, and weddings last. The 
first christening was James, sonne of Rye Rothwell, October 5, 
1590 ; the first burial, Robert Wardleworthe, Marche 23, 1590-1 ; 
the first wedding, Mathewe Birrie cu vxor Februarie 19, 15 90-1. 
In October, 1590, children christened were sons or daughters of 
Rye Rothwell, Edmund Barlowe, George Holilee, John Lomax, 
John Holte, Rauffe Holte, John Haworthe, Henry Nuttall, John 
Grinehalghe, and John Lea. It is in " Januarii " following that 
we find the first christening of a Kay. " Thomas " s. of Rye 
Kaye, Januarii 10, 1590-1, and in the following two months, John 
s. of John Kaye, Februarie 21, 1590-1 ; James s. of James 
Kaye, Marche 7, 1590-1 ; Ellen d. of Edmund Kaye, Marche 9, 
1590-1. Then follow six months in which Kays are absent. But 
they are well represented in the next following month, October : 
Roger s. of Roger Key, October 3, 1591 ; James s. of James 
Kaye, October 10, 1591 ; Alls and Margret d. of Thomas Kaye, 
October 17, 1591; Thomas s. of Thomas Kaye, October 24, 
1591 ; Margret d. of Denys Kaye, October 31, i59r. I will just 
add the remainder of Kays born 1591 — Margret d. of Rye Kaye, 
December 5, 1591; Alis d. of John Kaye, Januarie 25, 1591-2; 


John s. of Thomas Kaye, Februarie 6, 1591-2; Robte s. of 
Willme Kay, March 12, 1591-2. In the following year, 1592, 
christenings are registered of children born to Roberte Key, 
Willme Kaye, Rye Keye, Edward Key, Thomas Kaye, and Robert 
Keye. It is quite conceivable that the last two christenings, 
which happened on the same day, were distinguished from each 
other by the variation in spelling in the record, in accordance 
with the parents' request. This variableness runs through the 
record — Kay, Kaie, Kaye, Keie, Key, Keye. This diversity 
could have been obviated, by the residence of the parents being 
entered upon the register. But the ignorance and suspicion of 
the people probably prevented this. It was at first imagined 
that Parish Registers were ordered so that the governing authority 
could more readily follow the people for the purpose of taxation. 
Hence all early registers are of very little use for purposes of 
genealogical research. But our first volume. The Registers of the 
Parish Church of Bury (to be immediately followed by a second 
volume of the series. The Registers of Burnley Parish Church), is 
with all the shortcomings peculiar to these early registers, still 
helpful and interesting. The foregoing extracts give us names of 
a dozen families of the Kays residing in Bury, 1590-1591. I 
have gone through the whole of the registers for all of the name 
of Kay and its variants. There were 94 marriages of Kays in 
the period 1590-1616 registered at Bury; 46 of these were males, 
and 48 females. There were in the same period, 223 children of 
the name of Kay and its variants christened, of whom 122 were 
boys and loi girls. During the period named there were 191 
burials of Kays, at the Parish Church, inclusive of 50 wives. 

In the course of time the registration went more into detail. 
From 1590 to 1599 the weddings were recorded with vexatious 
brevity, thus the first wedding in iS90-r, which, notably, was a 
descendant of the old Bury family, reads, " Matthew Birrie cu 


vxor Februarie 19, 15 90-1." Then we have a breathing time — • 
no more till Auguste, when we read, " Thomas Aliens cu vxor, 
Auguste 9, 1590-1 ; Thomas Kaye cu vxor, Auguste 10, 1590-1 ; 
James Fenton cu vxor Auguste 15, 1590-1 ; Rye Grinehalghe cu 
vxor, Auguste 20, 1590-1. But, by carefully comparing christen- 
ings, births, and weddings I have been able to put in brief 
pedigree form names and places for thirty families of Kays. 
Kay, Christopher, died at Bodenstone, buried 6th October, 1591. 
This will be identified as Baldingstone. My notion is there was 
a wayside stone somewhere about this place, whereon weary 
travellers rested, or " bode " for a time, till by rest they were able 
to pursue their toilsome journey. Christopher Kay's wife died a 
few days prior to her husband, and was buried 26 September, 
1591. Their sons, James and Robert, are named. James's 
three children were James, christened 30 December, 1596; 
Margret, 27, June, 1602 ; William, 19 March, 1614-15. Then 
we have Thomas Kay of Sheephey ; " a childe " buried 1 1 March, 
1592-3, and " a sonne " buried 20 February, 1597-8. John Kay, 
Top Royle, his wife, buried in 1593, a child 27 September, 1605 ; 
John Kay, Widdell, ''a sonne" buried 13th April, 1597, and a 
son; Richard Kay married to Elizabeth Cowap 24 February, 
1611-12. Robert Kay of Bent had " a child buried, 2 February, 
1608, and Alissa, a daughter, buried 30 March, 1611." I sur- 
mise his wife was " Alls Nuttall." " Robert Kay and Alls 
Nuttall," are registered as married June 22, 1607. Robert Kay 
of Bentley Lee, buried children in 1610, 1613, and 1615. Ann, 
the wife of Thomas Kay of Bentley Lee, was buried October i, 
1 6 14. Richard Kay de Redivalls buried a son Richard, and a 
son William, both on the 22nd December, 1609. He had a 
second son Richard, born 1614, and a son Thomas, born 1616. 
I may say here, it was not at all unusual, if a child died, to repeat 
the same Christian name when subsequent children of the same 


sex were christened. A case within my own knowledge was 
where the parents desired to have a son named a particular name, 
and I know personally the case where the third son of the same 
Christian name survives ! He has the register showing that he 
has had two brothers both named John, who preceded him, and 
died in their infancy ; and I have copy of this register. Roger 
Kay of Shiplebothom has a daughter registered as christened 
and buried on 25 March, 1609-10 ; and a brother Robert married 
16 September, 1606. The wife of Rye Kay of Gooseford, was 
buried 15 December, 1591; Renold Kay of More Yate was 
buried 17 November, 1616 ; Rye Kay de Burrowes (Burrs) buried 
his wife 21 February, 159 1-2 ; Edmond Kay de Burrowes, buried 
a daughter i January, 1 614- 15; Roger Kay de Brodcar buried 
children, Roger in 1615, and Anne in 1616. Owyn Kay de Litle- 
woode, was buried 31 July, 1592 ; Rauffe Kay de Cockey buried 
his wife i August, 1592; Roger Kay de Birkle buried his wife 
Jane 25 November, 1614; Thomas Kay de Bridhole buried his 
wife Ann, 13 December, 1613 ; and himself was buried 6 Decem- 
ber, 1 614. His son Thomas married Emory Leache, 15 Sep- 
tember, 1614 ; and his son Roger had a son christened i January, 
1614-15. John Kaie de Woodrode, 1612; Richard Kay, Titch 
Road, 16 10; Arthur Kay of Hough, 1613; James Kay of 
Bentley Lum, 1613; all married. Wm. Kay of Cobas married 
Dority Barlowe, November 5, 1616. There was a christening of 
Dorathie d. Robte Barlowe, Januarie 12, 1594-5. These dates 
of William Kay and his wife, Dorothy, are confirmed by grave- 
stone in the Bury Parish Churchyard. 

Note. — In 1650 there were only twenty-four families in Shuttleworth, 
according to the Church Survey. The population of Bury was then less than 

The foregoing chapter was the author's effort to interest Bury readers in 
the publications of the Lancashire Parish Register Society, so ably supported 
by Mr. Henry Brierley, and the Rev. W. J. Lowenberg, both then resident in 



From the Bury Times, December 271h, igo2. 

FOUR years intervened and the author once more took up 
the story of John Kay of Bury which was again brought 
before Bury readers, and Colonel Sutcliffe's fictions once again 
made to appear facts. This notice of the " Lancashire Worthy " 
induced the author to return to his self-imposed task of dis- 
proving the claims of this man. The facts of the case are that 
Colonel Sutcliffe in his Crusoniana, and also in his lecture in the 
south of England two years before he died, belies his Bury 
ancestry. He published a pedigree chart in his Crusoniana, 
which was to exhibit his claims to have descended from Sutcliffes 
of Stansfield Hall, Todmorden, on the one side, and from Sir 
John Kaye of Woodsome, Co. York, on the other side. This 
publication attracted the notice of the late Mr. James Crossley, 
F.S.A., a well-known Manchester antiquary. 

It so happened that Mr. James Crossley had some knowledge 
of the family of Sutcliffe of Burnley, from whom the Colonel 
acknowledged himself to have sprung. The Colonel's proclivities 
led him further afield for some family of more ancient lineage, 
and he fixed upon Dr. Matthew Sutcliffe, Dean of Exeter (1550- 



1629), whose brother John should stand as progenitor for him, 
the Colonel. It will be seen, when investigation is made by any 
curious inquirer, that Dr. Matthew Sutcliffe represented a Devon- 
shire family, which had not the remotest connection with the 
Sutcliffes of Stansfield Hall, Todmorden. The Thomas Sutcliffe 
of Burnley, acknowledged by the Colonel as his grandfather, 
moved to Water Lane, Salford, where he carried on his business 
of dyer and presser. And John Sutcliffe, his son, married 
Frances, the daughter of John Kay and Elizabeth Lonsdall. 
The only child of this marriage was Thomas Sutcliffe, born 
May 13th, 1 791 — the said Colonel. The Colonel's grandfather, 
Thomas Sutcliffe, was first cousin to Mr. James Crossley's grand- 
mother, the wife of Henry Crossley. These Sutcliffes were 
settled at the Ing, near Colne. Mr. James Crossley has left his 
opinion on record : — " The Colonel's descent from the Sutcliffes 
of Stansfield is all fudge, for Mrs. Pickup was the first cousin 
of my grandmother, Martha Crossley, who was the daughter of 
Ann Sutcliffe, of the Ing, near Colne, who must have been the 
sister of Colonel Sutcliffe's great-grandfather, Thomas Sutcliffe, 
who would be of the Ing also, and not of Stansfield. The 
Colonel's pedigree is as arrant a piece of manufacture as any of 
the goods his grandfather pressed and dyed." Mrs. Pickup, 
named here, was sister to the Colonel's grandfather. 

Then, as to the Kay descent, as claimed by Colonel Sutcliffe. 
To make names and dates fit his purpose he fixes upon Sir John 
Kaye of Woodsome, near Huddersfield, born 1578, who died 
in 1641, having married Anne, daughter of Sir John Fearne, and 
had issue a son. Sir John Kaye, created baronet 1641, and died 
25th July, 1662, having married Margaret, daughter of Thomas 
Moseley, leaving a son John, his heir, and a second son Robert. 

This second son, Robert Kaye, is by the Colonel planted at 
Park, Walmersley, near Bury, and made to seem father of John 


Kay, the inventor of the fly-shuttle. Moreover, this Robert 
Kaye of Woodsome, is given a wife, by name Mary Crompton. 
This is the Robert Kay who is said to have been concerned in 
introducing the stuff trade into Leeds in 17 13, and who died 
in 1727. Reference to the Woodsome pedigree will show that 
this Robert Kaye died unmarried. Reference to the Will of 
Robert Kay of Park, Walmersley, will show that the mother of 
the inventor was Ellen Entwistle of Quarlton, and that the 
father of the inventor died in 1704, two months before the 
inventor was born. It seems high time to clear the names of 
John Kay and his son Robert from all the opprobrium resulting 
from Colonel Thomas SutclifFe's fictitious, if not fraudulent, 

Once for all let it be closely recognised that the inventor of 
the fly-shuttle was a Kay of Bury, and the author affirms that 
there is no " reason to believe that Robert Kay had an associa- 
tion [if the descent from Woodsome is implied], which antedated 
by several years at least the birth of the inventor, with the woollen 
Riding of Yorkshire." 

The Robert Kaye of Woodsome who was, in his time, con- 
cerned with the woollen trade of Yorkshire, was Robert, the son 
of George Kaye of Woodsome, who is stated to have been a 
" merchant." Singular to say this Robert Kaye also died un- 
married. His brother. Sir John Lister Kaye, was a prominent 
Yorkshireman. The George Kaye here named was second son 
of Sir John Kaye, whom the Colonel would have us think the 
elder brother of Robert Kay of Park. George Kaye was younger 
brother to Sir Arthur Kaye, the last male descendant of the main 
hne of Woodsome. Sir Arthur Kaye left an only child, Elizabeth, 
who was twice married, first to William, second Earl Dartmouth, 
and second to Lord North, first Earl of Guilford. Colonel 
Sutcliffe, under date January 2Sth, 1843, wrote to the Earl of 


Dartmouth, and accompanied his letter with the portrait of John 
Greenhalgh of Brandlesome, on the back of which he wrote, " I 
have traced the descent of John Kay of Bury, from his ancestors 
Sir John and Lady Annie Kay of Woodsome." The Earl 
replied on the following day, saying " the descent of your relatives 
from the Woodsome family of Kayes, seems to be clearly traced." 
Note the Colonel's spelling here, " Kay," and the Earl's " Kayes." 
If the Colonel's pretensions had been well founded, the Earl 
would not have said the descent " seems to be clearly traced." 
The Colonel's great-grandfather, Robert Kay of Park, would 
have been uncle to Sir Arthur Kaye, the last male representative 
of Woodsome. And John Kay, the inventor, would have been 
cousin, only once removed, to Eizabeth, Viscountess Lewisham ; 
afterwards Countess of Guilford. She died 21st April, 1745. 
William, fourth Earl of Dartmouth, born 1784, died 1853. 
Francis, sixth Earl of Guilford, in holy orders, born 19th 
December, 1792, died 29th January, 1861. To these two noble- 
men Colonel Sutcliffe ought to have been well-known. Baines, 
in 1825-6, included John Kay among his names of " Lancashire 
Worthies," and it was no longer counted disgraceful to have 
family connections between the nobility and eminent men in 
trade when the Colonel returned from his wild adventurous life 
to his native country. He was in the same line of descent from 
Robert Kay of Park that the Earls of Dartmouth and Guilford 
were from the Kayes of Woodsome ; and if his pretensions were 
well founded, they would have been acknowledged by these 
eminent noblemen. 

Sutcliffe says : " The Right Honourable Francis North, first 
Earl of Guilford (who had married [1736] a relative of Mr. Kay), 
did interest himself, as well as the Right Honourable Lord 
Strange, but before anything could be done for that Lancashire 
worthy he died in Paris, a victim of national ingratitude, and left 


his unfortunate family not only to bewail the fate of their parent, 
but also to experience the taunts of their relatives, as well as 
the vicissitudes of an adverse fortune." The death of John Kay, 
in Paris, occurred in 1767 or 1768. The first Earl of Guilford 
was born in 1704, the same year as the inventor of the fly-shuttle, 
and in 1736 married Elizabeth, the widow of Viscount Lewisham. 
This Elizabeth and the inventor of the fiy-shuttle would, if 
Colonel SutcHffe is believed, be related. Sir Arthur Kaye, her 
father, would be first cousin to the inventor of the fly-shuttle. 
It is not unreasonable to find that Sir Robert Peel, whose family 
was also mixed up by Sutcliffe in his pedigree, turned a deaf ear 
to the adventurer's supplications for public money to be dis- 
pensed " to the poor relations '' of the inventor. Naturally Sir 
Robert Peel might be supposed to reason that claims bolstered 
up by such fictions as Colonel Sutcliffe had the effrontery to 
attempt to palm upon him were not worthy of notice. He wrote 
three times to Sir Robert Peel ; who, replying to the second 
application, said : " I regret that I do not feel myself justified 
in making any grant of public money on account of the circum- 
stances stated in your letter." This reply is dated 5th Decem- 
ber, 1842. In May of the following year Sutcliffe again tried 
Sir Robert Peel, by reason that a grandson of Hargreaves, the 
inventor, had obtained from the Royal Bounty ;£25o for his 
grandmother, Mrs. Thompson of Manchester. No notice was 
taken of this. Sutcliffe again wrote, June 24th, and received a 
reply dated the 30th: — "Sir Robert Peel regrets that he does 
not feel himself justified in complying with the application 
referred to in your letter." 

That Colonel Sutcliffe had good reason to be proud of his 
great-grandfather's achievements and inventive genius no one will 
doubt. The Kays of Walmersley have no need to be ashamed 
of their progenitors. The first of that name to be found in this 


district was William Cay, or Kay, one of the three persons in 
Bury of sufficient position to be called upon to pay the Subsidy 
of the Crown in 1332. The descent is good enough, had the 
Colonel only known of it, without seeking in Yorkshire for what 
had no connection whatever with his family's past. In his 
account of the earthquake of Juan Fernandez, 19th February, 
1835, he writes: "I lost nearly everything I had; but, at the 
risk of my life, saved my writing-desk, a box with papers, and two 
family portraits — Governor Greenhalgh of Brandlesome Hall, 
and John Kay, Esq., of Bury, Lancashire, inventor of the fly- 
shuttle, &c." His grandmother was Elizabeth, daughter of 
Miles Lonsdall and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas 
Greenhalgh of Brandlesome, sheriff of Lancashire in 1668-9, 
ob., 1672. Colonel Sutcliffe died of heart disease, 22nd April, 
1849, aged 59 years, at 357, Strand, London, where for the three 
years preceding his death he had subsisted upon the charity of 
his landlord, who, at the inquest held upon the deceased, stated 
that he was hoping to be recouped by proceeds of a book the 
Colonel had completed, but could not produce funds to publish, 
when death removed him. His grandparents had both long 
been dead. Dr. Matthew Fletcher of Bury survived, being the 
grandson of Lettice, the eldest daughter of the inventor. Lucy 
Kay, the wife of the first Thomas Oram, survived, and would be 
nearly 80 years old. She was the daughter of Robert Kay, 
inventor of the drop-box. A memorial window to her memory 
is placed in Elton Church. Her daughter Elizabeth married the 
elder John Whitehead of Lowercroft, and their sons John and 
Robert Kay Whitehead survived. The elder of these, John, is 
represented by our esteemed townsman, Mr. Henry Whitehead 
of Haslam Hey, and his brother. Dr. Walter Whitehead, the 
celebrated surgeon of Manchester. Mr. Robert Kay Whitehead 
died 20th February, 1900. 


If the people of Bury desire worthily to commemorate the bi- 
centenary of the birth of John Kay, the inventor of the fly- 
shuttle, who are so likely to lend their aid and patronage, if 
fittingly approached, as these worthy descendants of that 
" Lancashire Worthy " and his son Robert ? The firm of Messrs. 
Hall have set an example of earnestriess. If the working people 
of Bury come forward with their subscriptions, a scholarship 
could be founded in connection with our High School, now to be 
open to all. And gold medals might be a yearly institution as 
recognition of excellence in pursuit of knowledge connected 
with the textile industry at our Technical School. 



From the Bury Times, February 2ist, 1903. 

FINALLY, as matters of further interest the author returned 
to the earlier history of John Kay of Bury, showing that he 
was born at Park, i6th July, 1704. His father was dead on the 
1 8th of the month of April previous, comparatively early in life, 
for none of his sons were arrived at manhood. The Park estate, 
which he describes as his " freehold inheritance, and the Shupple- 
bottom Close held by indenture of lease under the Earle of 
Derby," were assigned to Robert, the eldest son, charged with 
payment of £,z° apiece to each of his younger brothers, including 
the then unborn brother John. And if any of the four younger 
brothers died, the shares they would have been entitled to were 
to be divided among the survivors younger than Robert, " he 
himself receiving no benefit thereby." Provision in case of the 
wife's death was made in this wise : Robert, the eldest son, was 
to pay yearly twenty shillings for Richard's maintenance till he 
was eighteen years of age ; and to William forty shillings towards 
his maintenance till he was eighteen ; and " if the infant which 
is yett to bear do live " after Robert was one-and-twenty years 
of age, " that he pay it forty shillings a year till it be eighteen 


year of age." " The ordering and tuition of my children unto 
Ellin, my wife, till. they be fourteen years of age." He ordered 
his executors to be careful in looking to and preserving all the 
younger timber and trees, " the best that they can for the use 
and behoof of Robert my son." Ellin, however, married a second 
time one Hamer before her two younger sons attained their full 
age of twenty-one. And we find William became a shoemaker 
in Bury, and John became a reedmaker — and the inventor. 

From the extracts here given from Robert Kay's Will, it is 
not evident that great wealth existed in -that family. The inven- 
tory comprised thirty-five moneyed items amounting to ;£82 
13s. 6d., of which one item alone was " Mele £15;" another 
item " Four oxen £1 1 os. od. ; " " the hay and straw in the 
barne, total, £2 15s. od. ;" " one mare and colt j£^ os. od." " In 
the great house — six chears, six cushions, two little chears, 
00.08.00;" "saddle and pillion 00.05.00." These items are 
selected from the sworn inventory proved with the Will of Robert 
Kay, May 27th, 1704. We may estimate the difference in value 
of money between that period and now. Forty shillings yearly 
till William and the inventor were eighteen was all the provision 
charged upon Robert, the eldest born, to come out of the farm, 
to support these younger children. Robert the el'dest was born, 
I believe, about 1690, and so at his father's death would be 
about 14 years of age. 

Two old Bibles handed down to posterity in the inventor's 
family, and purchased by the late Mr. Samuel Oram at the sale 
of the household goods of the late Dr. Matthew Fletcher, afford 
a little evidence of connection between the Kays of Chamber 
Hall and the family which settled at Park. One of these Bibles 
contains a record that at one time it was " John Holt's Book." 
Anne, the daughter of this John Holt, was married to John Kay 
the inventor. But I am of opinion that James Kay was uncle 


to the inventor, and had for his second wife Margaret, sister to 
this John Holt. This certainly lends support to Colonel Thomas 
Sutcliffe's statement, that the inventor " married a relative." 
And this family of Kays at Chamber Hall also seems to have 
been associated with the Park Kays, according to Colonel 
Sutcliffe's assertion (made without reference to any authority), 
to the effect that John Kay became so impoverished by litigation 
with the Shuttle Clubs that he had to dispose of his landed 
estates near Bury, part of which were even the very ground upon 
which the Peel family amassed their wealth. But the inventor 
has never been shown to have had any property at Park, or else- 
where — his elder brother hired Tark. However these families 
were connected, it seems, up to the present time, to have been 
quite impossible to ascertain. That they were connected is 
almost proved by the two old family Bibles. One, 1599, seems 
to contain John Holt's figuring r7o9 — -1599 — no, showing the 
family ownership had endured for no years. This family of 
Kays at Chamber were connected with the family at Top-o'-th'- 
Hill, and also with Robert Nuttall, merchant, of Bury, the pur- 
chaser of Bridge Hall estate in 1736, who married Susannah, 
sister of James Kay, of Chamber Hall, who nominated his 
brother-in-law executor of his Will. 

We now come to a period in the life of the inventor, John 
Kay, when it becomes feasible to account for the assertion made 
by Woodcroft that " he was educated abroad." His widowed 
mother and her brother William were guardians to the children 
at Park. When the inventor reached the age of eight years his 
elder brother Robert would have entered into possession of the 
" freehold inheritance." The widowed mother would remain at 
Park in care of the younger children, and probably Robert and 
his brothers would go into some trade, as well as attend to the 
farm, But their family connections, merchants and dealers with 


combed and carded wool and yarn, were constantly dealing with 
Dutch merchants abroad; and in those days, as now, it would 
be quite possible to get children into convent schools. We know 
from evidence of his after life, and from family traditions, that 
the Park Kays were Jacobites, and mixed up in the latest 
Pretender's escapades in Manchester, in 1745. Then we will 
assume that he was taken abroad by some family acquaintances, 
and placed out in some family with whom these family acquaint- 
ances had dealings ; and so had opportunity of obtaining his 
education. But this is surmise only. Returning home, when he 
had attained the age of fourteen, he would be (in fact, family 
tradition comes in again, and says he was) put to learn the trade 
of a reedmaker. He probably, in rather a restive spirit, followed 
this trade, and served his term of apprenticeship. But once 
again we will accept evidence from tradition, to the effect that 
he rebelled against his appointed master, and returned home, 
saying he " could learn nothing there." His active brain was 
thus soon at work — ^they could teach him nothing. Doubtless 
he had seen cane-split reeds in plenty while on the Continent, if 
not about Bury, before and after his Continental experiences. 

In the writer's view John Kay had seen something in wire, 
and the possible uses of it. In early times wire was all drawn 
down by the hammer, and, when down to i-i6th inch square, 
could be drawn by hand round hat-shaped wire blocks fixed upon 
upright spindles. In fact, it is only within a very few years, 
within the author's knowledge, that small sizes of brass, copper, 
silver, and gold wire were all drawn by hand power. 

John Kay wanted to be rid of cane splits, so as to obtain an 
easier run for the shuttle ; and a more even beat-up of the weft, 
and he would try his hand at some flattened wire. No. 16 
wire was then considered a standard i-i6th of an inch in 
diameter, if of round wire. But we will not go over the ground 


of wire-drawing. We fancy he got a ring or two of No. i6 wire, 
and by some method, probably hand-hammering, flattened it 
down to J^in. wide, when it would make dents broad enough 
and thin enough to compete with smooth cane dents. The 
hammering being carefully done, the edges would be rounded 
pretty evenly if the material used Was of good Swedish charcoal- 
iron, such as for centuries has been in vogue for horse-shoe nails. 
He was successful. His dents were ready; but flattened wire 
patented was not much good to him so far. So he did not patent 
it. He saw at once he could have firm, even, flat-wire dents ; 
that what he next must have, would be most even cording, or 
twine, twisted as beautifully and regularly in its threads as 
possible. So he set about his machine to obtain these results. 
He found mohair suitable, and that he could make strong 
thread. He then sought for a patent for " Thread, &c.," his 
first patent, 1730. 

If the inventor had set the public mind upon a patent for 
making " Reed-twine," his chance was gone. So we find his 
first patent was for twisting mohair and finishing tailors' thread. 
His reeds are now ready. Some are being tried. " The reed 
face," said he, " is as smooth and even as it is possible." What 
about improving the loom to get the best results ? " Why," said 
he to himself, " the slay-beam only needs a bit at each end 
added, to catch the shuttle, and jerk it from side to side; for 
the reed is so even now, on the face, compared with the old cane 
reeds, if I can get a shuttle-box at each end of the slay I can 
tie the strings to a ' picker,' and both strings to a peg for the 
right hand, and the weaver will have the left hand to beat up 
the slay regularly ; and if he goes all right with his clogs on the 
treadles, he may soon be at it, ricketty, racketty, the day 
through ! " And so it came out just as he imagined. But the 
first man who was dispensed with was probably the first groVler 



over the patent of 1733. A superficial observer would perhaps 
now remark, " it's all very simple." So it is, and so was the first 
spoon formed out of boxwood, or bog-oak, when people grew out 
of using their fingers at dinner or other feeding times. 

John Kay's reed yarn, and perhaps reedmaking, led him to 
Colchester, where weaving was a great source of work. He 
tried, no doubt, to push his reeds and yarns, with some success. 
But he found proposals on foot to supply the town with water, 
and no mechanical appliances suitable. He thought this matter 
over. Probably one sleepless night he tumbled to the plan to 
adopt. The wind blew wheresoever it listed. And so it was — 
1738, a patent windmill suitable to convey power for many 

It has been a myth all through the records of Kay's early life, 
that he went to Colchester to look after the works his father had 
there; and that his father dying in 1727, as Colonel Sutcliffe 
told the world, the son remained ten years longer to carry on the 
concern ! Most probably the truth was he only made occasional 
journeys to Colchester. 

John Kay married Anne Holt in 1725. He had come to the 
age of one-and-twenty years, and was entitled to the legacy in 
his father's Will. We can, consequently, suppose he got his j£^o 
or ;£4o. Perhaps with savings he had acquired, and help from 
his father-in-law, he struck out for himself. 

Dr. Laver, antiquary, of Colchester, wrote to the author some 
years ago, that he had searched all the likely Church registers 
there, but found no records of any christenings of children born 
to John Kay of Bury, or of Colchester. Up to present date 
records have only been found at Bury Parish Church, and the 
first there is the christening of Lettice, daughter of John Kay, 
born July nth, and christened July 13th, 1726. No place of 
residence is given. But it is unquestionable, the writer thinks, 


that this child is identical with the " Lettice Fletcher " whose 
burial is recorded on the Fletcher family gravestone in Bury 
Churchyard, south side. The writer has only identified three 
christenings described as " of Park." The first one is " Ephraim 
s. of Robt. Kay de Park, born May 7, bapd. May 9, 1697;" 
second, " John s. Robert Kay, Park, born July 16, baptd. July 
23, 1704;" third (which indicates the period in life when the 
eldest son, Robert, was married), " Elizab. d. Robert Kay, Park, 
b. Jany. 30, baptd. Feby. 9, 1723." This entry indicates that 
the christening in 1690 of Robert, s. of Robert Kay (no residence 
given), born September 28, and baptised October 2, was that of 
the said eldest brother of the inventor, who must have married 
as soon as he attained the age of twenty-one years. But further 
search has resulted in finding the inventor's other children, 
numbering twelve, as shown in the Memoir now piiblished. 

At this point friends begun to UTge that the author's collec- 
tion of material should assume book form. Hence Memoir of 
John Kay offered by subscription ; and this volume of Bygone 
Bury, in which, obviously, there are many things duplicated, 
but circumstances appeared to require the repetitions. 


* - '. -■■'"'.:-, 

^r'; 1 nf>4^